8 die in heavy snow in Japan's Hokkaido

2013-03-04 03:26:28 GMT2013-03-04 11:26:28(Beijing Time)  SINA.com

Eight people died in snow-related accidents in Japan's Hokkaido over the weekend with their vehicles getting trapped in heavy snow, as a strong low pressure system gripped the area.

In Nakashibetsu, Kazuyo Miyashita, 40, her two daughters Misa, 17, and Sayo, 14, and her son Daiki, 11, were confirmed dead at a hospital Saturday night after their car was buried under snow, police said.

They are believed to have died of carbon monoxide poisoning as their car was filled with exhaust gas, the police said, adding that its exhaust pipe and windows were blocked by snow.

Also in Nakashibetsu on Sunday, a part-time worker was found collapsed in farmland and confirmed dead, local police said, adding she left her car behind about 300 meter away.

Meanwhile in Yubetsu, a 53-year-old man died and his daughter survived after their car was buried in snow on their way to a friend of the man, according to Kyodo.

Caused by a strong low pressure system, Japan's northeastern Tohoku region and Hokkaido saw severe snow storms this weekend.

Japan's Meteorological Agency also issued snow storm advisories in the area on the extreme weather, which also caused the derailment of a bullet train Saturday evening in Japan's Akita Prefecture. No one was injured in the accident.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sunday ordered Keiji Furuya, state minister for disaster management, to check on the damage and to restore transport systems and provide information to local residents.

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Editor: Mei Jingya
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