Fiery bus crash on Japanese highway leaves 2 dead, 7 injured

TOKYO (AP) — A bus crashed into a dividing strip, overturned and caught fire on an expressway in central Japan on Monday, killing two people and injuring seven others, police said.

The bus, traveling between downtown Nagoya and a nearby prefectural airport, apparently hit the divider just before leaving the expressway, according to Aichi police. They said the cause of the crash is under investigation.

Public broadcaster NHK television showed the mangled bus on its side and engulfed in flames and black smoke.

Firefighters and police found two charred bodies, believed to belong to the driver and a passenger, inside the bus. The bodies were badly burned and their identities couldn’t immediately be confirmed.

Six other passengers were rescued with slight injuries. The driver of another vehicle that collided with the crashed bus was also slightly injured, police said.

The Transport Ministry said it has launched a separate investigation into the operator of the bus, Aoi Traffic Corp., including the health and working conditions of its employees.

In 2016, a ski tour bus fell from a mountainous road in Nagano prefecture, killing 15 people and injuring 26 others. In 2012, a long-distance bus crashed into a wall while traveling on an expressway, killing seven and injuring 38 others.

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