Japan. Massive buildup of cars due to heavy snowfall kills 1 and 17 injured | Weather news

Some 134 vehicles involved in an incident that forced the closure of the Tohoku Expressway as snow storms hit the north of the country.

At least one person was killed and 17 injured in a massive pile-up of at least 134 vehicles in blizzard conditions on a highway in northern Japan, officials said.

About 200 people were stranded in the stack, which forced the closure of the Tohoku Expressway in Miyagi Prefecture, the Fire and Disaster Management Agency said on Tuesday.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Katsunobu Kato said a truck had sunk into a passenger car, triggering stacking on a 1 km (0.6 mile) stretch of highway.

One person was killed, he said.

An aerial view shows the site where cars were involved in a series of crashes when a snowstorm hit a stretch of highway on the Tohoku Expressway in Osaki, Miyagi Prefecture, northern Japan, Jan.19 2021. [Kyodo/Reuters]

The disaster agency later said 17 others were injured, two of them seriously.

Public broadcaster NHK said it took about eight hours for road authorities to finish cleaning up the debris.

Traffic authorities had imposed a speed limit of 50 km (30 miles) per hour at the time of the crash due to low visibility due to a snowstorm, Kato said.

Some 200 people remained stranded due to the stacking of vehicles [Kyodo/Reuters]

Parts of northern Japan have been hit by heavy snowfall in recent weeks.

Last year around this time heavy snowfall at least 53 dead and 574 injured in western and northern Japan.

The loss of life has largely occurred in five prefectures along the Sea of ​​Japan, in the regions of Tohoku and Hokkaido.

Road authorities finished cleaning up the debris after about eight hours, local media said. [Kyodo/Reuters]

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