The Modern Tokyo Times

International news and neglected issues

Crane truck accident kills six children in Tochigi prefecture

Crane truck accident kills six children in Tochigi prefecture

Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Kanuma in Tochigi Prefecture
Kanuma in Tochigi Prefecture

Tragedy strikes Kanuma in Tochigi prefecture because six children have died after a crane truck mowed down the children while they were on their way to the local school.  News is still sketchy but the police have stated that the 26 year old truck driver, Masato Shibata, was not under the influence of alcohol and a thorough investigation is underway.

The first line of inquiry should focus on health and safety measures because this powerful crane struck children in the morning and the photo image shows the crane shattering into a house.  Therefore, it appears that this was a residential area and it was being used during the morning when children were going to school. 

Therefore, what safety procedures were taken by the company involved?  How experienced was the driver of the crane truck given his age?  Was the tragic accident because of a serious mechanical malfunction?  These questions, and countless others, are needed in order to safeguard children from major vehicles.

It is noticeable that health and safety measures are lacking in Japan in general when it applies to the use of industrial equipment in residential areas.  I often see factories in residential areas in Tokiwadai, Narimasu, and other parts of Tokyo.  It amazes many people that you have fork lift trucks being used openly and with children and people walking by throughout the day.

When you have major building work then at all times you will see many Japanese workers with flags and they are safeguarding the area to the full and are always on the alert.  However, small sized factories are different because you have no people outside who are watching and trying to prevent major accidents.

It appears that the tragedy which struck in Kanuma in Tochigi prefecture is of a different nature.  However, having a powerful crane being used in what appears to be a quiet residential area and during the morning school rush; then this does raise alarm bells.

Sadly, Mika Sekiguchi, Taiga Ihara, Keita Shimozuma, Kyoya Hoshino, Takuma Omori, and Manato Kumano, were killed in this tragic accident.  The children were aged between 9 years of age and 11 years of age. 

Clearly, all family members, friends, and the local community will be at a loss and no words of comfort can console the bereaved. 

It is shocking to think that these children had a bright future and woke up this morning with their thoughts being on school and seeing their friends. 

Once more a community is in shock and it is hoped that a thorough investigation will lead to greater safety measures.

However, for parents, grandparents, teachers, friends, relatives, and the entire community; this tragic accident will remain to be a lasting nightmare.

Tragically, Mika Sekiguchi, Keita Shimozuma, Taiga Ihara, Kyoya Hoshino, Manato Kumano and Takuma Omori; have all been taken away at such a young age. (please visit)

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