• Kyodo


As many as four people died in accidents amid heavy snow over the weekend as wide areas of Japan were gripped in frigid weather, police said.

In Akabira, Hokkaido, on Saturday, a 51-year-old man fell when he was removing snow from the roof of his father-in-law’s house and was pronounced dead at a hospital.

An 80-year-old woman, who police believe may have fallen while removing snow on a road, was found dead in a ditch in the town of Yuzawa, Niigata Prefecture, on the same day.

In Kyoto Prefecture on Sunday, where snow also fell, a traffic accident lead to the death of two people — a woman in her 20s and a man in his 40s.

At 7:40 a.m., a witness called police and reported that a minicar had skidded and collided with the guard rail.

When the female driver of the car and the man, who was following her in another vehicle, got out, they were hit by a truck from behind. A total of four vehicles were involved in the accident. The incident happened on a slope, which was covered with snow at the time.

Snow also disrupted traffic in the country from Saturday, with bullet train services on the Tokaido and Sanyo Shinkansen lines being delayed, according to train operators.

Some conventional train services were canceled or delayed, while drivers were requested to use snow chains between some sections of expressways.

In a nonsnow related accident in Tsu, Mie Prefecture, a two-car collision killed three people on Saturday night, local police said.

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