National

Car crashes into Gunma supermarket, injuring 14; driver held

JIJI

A car crashed into a supermarket in Shibukawa, Gunma Prefecture, on Sunday afternoon, injuring 14 people.

None of the 14 is in a life-threatening condition but five were seriously injured, including one whose hip got broken, according to the Gunma Prefectural Police department’s Shibukawa station.

Around 3:55 p.m., the fire department received an emergency call reporting that a car had plowed into Torisen, a supermarket in the Miyukida district.

Katsuto Yajima, the 55-year-old driver, was arrested at the scene on suspicion of negligent driving resulting in injuries. Yajima told the police that he hit the gas pedal hard after feeling numbness on the right side of his body.

According to police and other sources, Yajima’s car sailed through its glass entrance and came to halt about 15 meters inside after hitting a shelf.

Yajima was on his way home from shopping when the accident occured. The police will investigate whether Yajima is ill and whether that led to the accident, investigative sources said.

An eyewitness said the car was moving at a high speed when it smashed into the store.

Takeshi Jin, 44, the manager, said the car appeared to crash into the store without stopping.

“I rushed to the scene after hearing a bang,” said a 22-year-old Shibukawa woman who was inside. “I saw a boy lying bleeding on the floor, so I took him to a safe place,” said the woman, who was studying to be a nurse.

Torisen Co., based in Tatebayashi, operates supermarkets mainly in Gunma and neighboring Tochigi.