Heavy snow causes deadly pileup on northeastern Japan expressway

Kyodo -- Jan 19
Heavy snowfall blanketed wide areas of northern and northeastern Japan on Tuesday, causing a fatal multiple-vehicle collision on an expressway, with the weather agency warning of gales and snowstorms disrupting traffic.

The pileup, which involved over 130 vehicles and some 200 drivers and passengers, occurred around noon on the Tohoku Expressway in Osaki, Miyagi Prefecture, and left one person dead and 10 others hospitalized, police and firefighters said.

Accumulated snow, icy roads, avalanches and snow accretion are also expected in the Hokkaido, Tohoku and Hokuriku regions, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.

Because of the bad weather, East Japan Railway suspended some of its shinkansen bullet train services in Miyagi, Iwate and Akita prefectures in the Tohoku region, among other areas. - Kyodo