Man dead and 200 people stranded in massive pile-up

Australian Associated Press
·1-min read

One person has been killed and at least 17 people have been injured as more than 130 cars were involved in a series of crashes after a snow storm struck a stretch of highway in Japan.

The crashes occurred on the Tohoku Expressway, in the northern prefecture of Miyagi, on a stretch of road about one-kilometre long, the government said.

About 200 people were stranded in the pile-up, which forced the closure of the expressway, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said.

A photo shows an accident site caused by snow on the Tohoku Expressway in Osaki City, Miyagi Prefecture, northern Japan, on January 19, 2021.
A man has been killed and at least 17 other people were injured in a massive pile-up. Source: AP

Public broadcaster NHK said highway authorities finished cleaning up the debris after about eight hours.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said a truck rammed into a passenger car, triggering the pile-up.

One person was killed, he said.

The disaster agency later said 17 others were injured, including two seriously.

Traffic authorities had imposed a 50km/h speed limit at the time of the accident because of low visibility due to the snow storm, Mr Kato said.

Parts of Japan have seen unusually heavy snow in recent weeks.

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