• Kyodo News


A 28-meter-high pile driver fell across three lanes of National Route 20 in central Tokyo Tuesday, injuring six people, two seriously, and hitting a truck, police said, adding strong winds may have been a factor.

The accident occurred at a construction site in the Kojimachi district in Chiyoda Ward, about 700 meters west of the Hanzomon gate of the Imperial Palace.

The pile driver, owned by Taiyo Kiso Co., fell over at around 11 a.m. while pulling up a 6-ton column for the basement of a 19-story building being built there, the police said.

The machine injured two pedestrians, three people who were in a truck on the six-lane road, also known as Shinjuku Dori, and the pile driver’s 38-year-old operator when it fell, the police said.

A woman in her 60s remained unconscious after being knocked down by the pile driver, and its operator suffered serious injuries, the police said, adding that the injuries to the other four weren’t considered life-threatening.

Strong winds were blowing at the time, and the pile driver appeared to tilt in the wind, a passerby who witnessed the accident said.

Some thought an earthquake had hit the capital.

“The ground was shaking up and down,” a man who works nearby said.

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