One person killed, dozens injured in autumn festivals in Japan
One person died and another 36 were injured after a truck slammed into a crowd of festival-goers in Kannonji, Kagawa Prefecture.
Truck driver Takayuki Okawa, 42, was taken into police custody after his 19-ton vehicle hit a group of people pulling a festival float at around 9:55 p.m. on National Route 11 in Kannonji, police said.
Noriyuki Tomida, 52, a local high school teacher, was killed in the incident. The ages of the injured range from between 7 to 51 years old, with four still in serious condition, according to police.
The driver reportedly told authorities he wasn’t paying attention at the time of the accident.
The incident occurred on a straight section of road with the festival participants walking ahead of a trailer truck. Okawa failed to brake before slamming into the crowd, investigators said.
The truck was transporting lumber from Ehime Prefecture to Gunma and Tochigi prefectures, according to the shipping company that employs Okawa.
Etsuo Joko, the president of shipping firm Marukyo Unso Co., offered an apology over the accident. He said there were no problems with Okawa’s health or his work attitude.
Meanwhile, in Nagakute, Aichi Prefecture, a matchlock musket accidentally exploded during the Nagakute Keigo Festival on Sunday, injuring the man who was holding it. The injury was not life-threatening, but he did sustain a serious injury to his left hand, police said.
No one else was hurt in the incident, authorities said.
The man was a member of a historical re-enactment group featured in the festival. Police believe he may have handled the matchlock in an improper way.