5 people injured after ambulance careens into river in Kochi


Five people were injured Sunday after an ambulance careened off a road and fell 15 meters down an embankment into a river in Shimanto City, Kochi Prefecture.

According to police, the accident took place on a road running along Nishitosafuji River at around 10 a.m. Fuji TV reported that Muneko Mori, 77, was being transported to the hospital for an injury to her right knee when the ambulance suddenly veered off the road and fell into the river. In the vehicle at the time were Mori and one other 66-year-old woman, along with three emergency medical personnel.

Mori, who had now also added a broken leg to her list of injuries, was transported to the hospital by helicopter, along with the other patient who had sustained cuts on her face. The three emergency medical personnel also suffered slight injuries in the crash.

No guard rails were in place on the curved road where the accident occurred.

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Well, they certainly weren't speeding. Japanese ambulances drive so slowly you have to wonder what all the noise and lights are for.

Did the driver fall asleep at the wheel, for example?

8 ( +8 / -0 )


How does that happen in Japan? Ambulances here only need first and second gears, they drive so slowly...!

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Well, if you're going to have an accident... I wonder if they got asked their nationality, like I did, when been transported to the hospital.

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Mori, who had now also added a broken leg to her list of injuries,

LOL. Add salt to the wounds .. what a nice way to put it Mr/Ms a Reporter.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I agree, all of the Japanese ambulances I've seen seem to trundle along slowly and carefully... mystery how it could career out of control like that.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I know the area where the accident occurred and it's a windy and sometime very narrow road.

Some places are so narrow you need to back up to a slightly wider part of the road in order for two cars to pass each other.

I'm not sure exactly why this ambulance fell off the road but it would be quite easy to if he took his eyes off the road for just a second while navigating some those windy turns.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Uh-oh! Adding a broken leg to Mori's list of injuries is literally "rubbing salt into wounds." I strongly hope that she won't be on her last legs at worst and get back on her feet in due course.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Ambulances drive slowly because pedestrians, cyclists and drivers don't all stop what their doing when they hear the siren. Here in Kansai, cars creep up behind ambulances so they can bypass everyone pulling over.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

The narrow Shikoku country roads! Legendary! Like almost nothing else in Japan - and I have driven a few. The real excitement begins as yo go up the mountain, in a place where nobody realises that slowing going down is not as sudden as slowing going up. Add siderails! Who needs them if you stay on the road? But the views across some of those near verticle inclines (yes, I have measured them, frequently 60 degrees or more) in so many perfect V-shaped valleys here. No wonder the Heike chose here to lose themselves 800 years ago or so (but not near Shimanto out west)

A pity the accident had to happen to an ambulance with someone in it though.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

No guard rails were in place on the curved road where the accident occurred.

Just noticed that line... that really was an accident waiting to happen.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If you had seen the pictures on tv, then you would understand about the very narrow and winding road.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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