14 killed in tour bus crash in central Japan

Updated: 2016-01-15 10:05


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14 killed in tour bus crash in central Japan

A tour bus veered off a road in the central Japanese town of Karuizawa, January 15, 2016. [Photo/IC]

TOKYO - At least 14 people were confirmed dead after a tour bus carrying 41 careened off a road in Japan's central Nagano Prefecture, local media reported on Friday.

The tour bus, according to local media reports, was headed to a ski resort.

Local authorities said that among the 20 or so injured, 11 were in a critical condition.

The accident occured in the early hours of Friday morning at around 2 am on National Route 18, which runs not far from Karuizawa station.

Police and investigators so far have confirmed that the road conditions were not icy and investigations into the cause of the accident are ongoing.

The tour bus originated from Gunma Prefecture, with the full bus load of passengers, according to preliminary local reports, veering onto the opposite lane of the road, hitting the guard rail and flipping over, totaling the front end of the bus.

The emergency call to rescue services was made by one of the passengers, according to local media reports.