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1 killed, 11 injured after minibus goes down mountainside

20.08.2013 00:12

From Japan Today:

NAGANO —One man was killed and 11 people injured in Nagano on Sunday after a minibus careened off a road and down a mountainside, police said Monday.

According to police, the minibus was carrying a group of amateur photographers who were returning to Gifu from a photography trip in Nagano. TBS reported that the minibus was traveling along a forest path in the village of Kijimadaira when it left the road at a right-hand bend and fell over 10 meters downhill before tipping onto its side. Police say there was no guard rail at the bend and that skid marks were found on the road near the scene of the accident.

Investigators said an 82-year-old man from Gifu, who has been named as Shinsaku Kawamura, was flown to hospital by air ambulance, where he was pronounced dead. The 11 other passengers, all aged between 64 and 84 years of age, sustained minor injuries in the crash.

Police say they are planning to question the 64-year-old driver of the rented minibus, who also planned the trip, to discover the cause of the crash. Investigators say the man may be charged with involuntary vehicular manslaughter, depending on the outcome of the investigation.