The tragic devastation suffered by a bus carrying nearly 50 people to Tokyo Disneyland as it was sheared in two by a collision with an ill-placed concrete wall has aroused astonishment that as few as 7 people died.
The accident took place on a stretch of Gunma prefecture highway when a night bus on its way to Tokyo Disneyland collided head-on with a concrete “soundproofing” wall, which sliced through the length of the bus, destroying it totally.
Of the 45 passengers, 7 died with a further 38 injured, along with the driver. 2 of the injured are in critical condition. 6 of the dead were women in their early twenties, along with a middle-aged man. Amongst the injured were a 10-year-old boy and a 14-year-old girl.
Police have launched a manslaughter investigation, suspecting that the driver may be largely at fault and concerned about the company’s late-night schedules which apparently did not include any change-over drivers.
However, concerns have also been voiced about the wall itself – described by some as “surely put there just to kill people” – although the driver’s confession that “I nodded off for a bit” suggests that negligence, poor road design and extreme bad luck may all be at fault.
The scale of the devastation suffered by the bus has been the subject of ghastly fascination online, with there being some surprise that anyone survived at all:
Coming not long after an an epileptic man ran down 10 people in Kyoto, killing himself and 7 people in what was either an epilepsy attack, a horrendous accident or a murder-suicide, and another accident, again in Kyoto, in which an unlicensed and sleep-deprived 18-year-old youth crashed into a bus carrying 10 elementary schoolers, killing 2, there is a certain amount of concern about the safety of Japan’s roads of late.