1 Killed, 3 Severely Hurt in Massive Pileup on Tohoku Expressway

Society

Sendai, Miyagi Pref., Jan. 20 (Jiji Press)--A pileup involving dozens of vehicles has happened on an expressway in northeastern Japan, possibly due to a phenomenon known as whiteout, leaving a man dead and three other people seriously injured.

The accident occurred near the Furukawa Interchange on the outbound lanes of the Tohoku Expressway in the city of Osaki, Miyagi Prefecture, around 11:50 a.m. Tuesday (2:50 a.m. GMT).

A total of 19 people were taken to hospital, according to the Miyagi prefectural police department’s expressway patrol unit and other sources.

Up to some 140 automobiles were stuck in the accident, forming a line stretching about 1.2 kilometers, with about 200 people left inside the vehicles. The prefectural police and others finished work to remove the stranded vehicles shortly after 8 p.m. The Osaki city government provided affected people with blankets, food and other relief supplies.

According to the Japan Meteorological Agency, the Furukawa district in the city logged a temperature of 3.6 degrees Celsius below zero and a maximum instantaneous wind speed of 27.8 meters per second around noon Tuesday. The expressway patrol unit will look into the details of the pileup, suspecting the possibility of the accident being caused by whiteout, in which visibility falls almost to zero due to windblown snow.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press