• Kyodo

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A loading vehicle struck a group of students and teachers from a school for children with impaired hearing in Osaka on Thursday, killing an 11-year-old girl and injuring four others, police and rescuers said.

The driver of the loader, Takuya Sano, 35, was arrested at the scene.

The girl was identified as Ayaka Ide, who was heading home with two other pupils the same age at around 4 p.m., accompanied by two female teachers in their 40s.

According to the police, the five had left the public school in Osaka’s Ikuno Ward and were waiting on a sidewalk for the traffic signal near its gate to change when the loader rammed them.

Sano was quoted as saying he accidentally hit the gas pedal instead of the brake when the traffic light turned red. It is not known why he veered into the students.

The accident took place in a residential area about 400 meters south of JR Tsuruhashi Station. Road work was underway near the site.

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