A bus traveling on a highway near Tokyo crashed, killing seven people and injuring another 39 while on its way to the Japanese capital's Disneyland.
The bus was carrying 44 passengers and its driver when it smashed against a roadside wall on the Kanetsu Expressway before dawn in Fujioka, 100 kilometers (62 miles) northwest of Tokyo, reported Agence France-Presse. It left the city of Kanazawa, which is 300 kilometers northwest of Tokyo, late on Sunday for the first day "Golden Week," the Japanese spring holiday season.
The injured included 38 passengers and the bus's 43-year-old driver, with 13 of the passengers in serious condition, according to the Associated Press. Steel panels sliced the bus's body in half when it hit the roadside wall.
According to Japan Broadcasting Corporation NHK, local police said doctors at the scene confirmed deaths from cardiopulmonary arrest.
The driver, identified as Kazan Kono, told police he was asleep at the time of the accident, and no signs that the brakes had been applied were found on the road, reported The Japan Times. Yumihide Hariu, president of the bus company, Hariu Express, said Kono called him to apologize from the location of the accident.
"I'm sorry. I caused an accident and crashed into a wall," Hariu quoted Kono as saying, according to the Times.
Police plan to question Kono on suspicion of manslaughter caused by negligent driving, the Times also reported. The driver reportedly apologized again when he arrived at police headquarters in the city of Gunma.
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