• Kyodo


A body found Wednesday in a car buried under sand and rocks in Kumamoto Prefecture is thought to be that of a university student missing since tremors devastated parts of Kyushu in April. Hikaru Yamato, 22, is the sole person still listed as missing.

Police pulled the car from under debris near a river formerly spanned by the 200-meter-long Aso Ohashi bridge. The bridge collapsed in the disaster.

En route from the city of Kumamoto to his home in the city of Aso in the early hours of April 16, Yamato is believed to have been driving on or near the bridge when it fell.

Yamato’s 58-year-old father Takuya expressed regret at the discovery of a body.

“But I’m also relieved,” he said. “I hope it is Hikaru’s.”

Police restarted their search for Yamato after the parents late last month spotted part of the car about 400 meters downstream from the bridge.

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