Snow storm causes 134 cars to crash on Japan highway, 1 dead and 12 taken to hospital

TOKYO (REUTERS) – At least 134 cars were involved in a series of crashes in Japan on Tuesday (Jan 19) when a snow storm struck a stretch of highway and one person was killed and a dozen hurt in the chaos.

The crashes occurred on the Tohoku Expressway in the northern prefecture of Miyagi at around noon, on a stretch of road about 1km long, the government said.

The authorities had imposed a speed limit of 50kmh when heavy snow cut visibility, but that was not enough to prevent disaster.

Some 200 people were caught up in the crashes, with 12 of them taken to hospital, the disaster management agency said.

Rescue operations were under way, Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato told reporters.

Parts of Japan have seen unusually heavy snow in recent weeks.

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