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Taxi plows into pedestrians near Dotonbori canal in Osaka; 7 hurt

39 Comments

A taxi driver went on a dangerous driving spree early Thursday morning in Osaka's Soemon entertainment district, plowing across a pedestrian-only bridge over Dotonbori canal and hitting five people before crashing into a bar on the first floor of a nearby building.

A total of seven people were injured, including two passengers in the taxi, but all escaped with only minor injuries, police said. The seven injured range in age from 21 to 48.

The taxi driver, 73, reportedly let five passengers in and was heading south before it suddenly entered the pedestrian-only Tazaemon bridge. Five people were left injured in the 80 meters between the start of the bridge and the bar where the vehicle ended its run.

© News reports

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39 Comments
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"You talkin to me?" was heard just before it all started

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So, will this nut be charged with attempted murder and using a motor vehicle as a weapon? Or, will he get a slap on the wrist and a 20% pay cut for three months?

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Perhaps he should have crashed in the bar first!

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I understand the urge to have a drink now and then, but this goes beyond the simple desire to toss down a few.

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5 people plus a driver in 1 taxi cab, seems like that's over the limit to me.

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Spree would make this sound as if done purposely. Going to have to read the article in Japanese to make sense of this.

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This was an accident waiting to happen

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There were only 2 passengers in the taxi - read the article again. Taxi drivers routinely work 20 hour shifts and many have no idea where they are going much of the time. So, whether this was a "dangerous driving spree" or a simple wrong turn by a very tired driver remains to be seen.

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73 yrs old taxi driver...according to NHK news.

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How could it have been a 'wrong turn', implying accident. You don't turn onto a pedestrian bridge by mistake. Now, he may not have plowed into the people intentionally, but it's likely he decided or was told by the passengers to just cut over the bridge, and then somehow lost control. Glad no one was hurt.

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There were only 2 passengers in the taxi - read the article again.

I did. I saw:

The taxi reportedly let five customers in

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The taxi driver should be charged and prosecuted for attempted murder and reckless endangerment. Forget about "wa" and maintaining group harmony. The injured should also sue the company together.

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There were only 2 passengers in the taxi - read the article again.

The taxi reportedly let five customers in and was heading south before it suddenly entered the pedestrian-only Tazaemon bridge.

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The article contradicts itself. It mentions "the two passengers in the taxi" then it goes on to say that it "reportedly let five passengers in". Who knows?

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Very vague. I know exactly where this is.... Did he lose the plot or did the customers demand he take a short cut? Sounds like booze, age, profession, customers and time was a bad mixed drink straight into the bar.

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btw... that is a Yak controlled area and very dodgy in the wee hours.... the fare and bystander numbers are also contradicting.

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The taxi driver should be charged and prosecuted for attempted murder and reckless endangerment. Forget about "wa" and maintaining group harmony. The injured should also sue the company together.

We know nothing.... For all we know the guy had a gun to his head or a knife to his neck to ram a bar in a gangster part of town. Its a nutty part of OSAKA.

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doesn't say arrested ??? or whatever ? Was the taxi driver driving the cab ?

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Did somebody grab the taxi when said taxi driver was taking a smoke break ? Alot of the taxi people always step out of the taxi to socialize with other taxi drivers.

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The article contradicts itself. It mentions "the two passengers in the taxi" then it goes on to say that it "reportedly let five passengers in". Who knows?

It doesn't contradict itself. Five people were in the taxi, two of them got injured.

Any case the word "spree" usually means something deliberately done, I haven't seen any other news to say it was or wasn't, nor does the article point to either.

Though five people in a regular Japanese taxi, they must of been squished inside.

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The driver definitely took a wrong turn...right round the bend!

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Spree would make this sound as if done purposely.

Indeed, and with indulgence at that. Rampage might be more appropriate.

The driver definitely took a wrong turn...right round the bend

Could we call him the last airbender?

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How many people were in the taxi 2 or 5?

Moderator: The driver and five passengers.

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Five people in the taxi, of those, two were injured.

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This report is very misleading. It wasn't a "spree", there was a problem with the accelerator. The driver had already reported it to his company who had it inspected but weren't able to find anything. There's no question of "attempted murder" or anything; the driver hasn't even been arrested. Looks like the taxi company had better work on the quality of their inspections. Glad nobody was seriously hurt.

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Thanks kyushujoe for the info. That "spree" was bugging me. And just an observation, accelerator problems seem to happen a lot more often than usual to drivers of a certain age group.

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accelerator problems seem to happen a lot more often than usual to drivers of a certain age group.

Indeed. It'd be interesting to see if a younger driver experienced the same problems.

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@ my2sense. "yak controlled area" my arse. even the yaks wouldnt be so stupid to draw so much attention. this area is no dogier than other areas of minami in the wee hours. yak controlled my arse

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This was just on Japanese news and the commentator wondered what the guy was thinking. muah...get a clue lady

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smithinjapan said: How could it have been a 'wrong turn', implying accident. You don't turn onto a pedestrian bridge by mistake.

As someone who has driven in this country for over 15 years, yes, it is possible. This is the most confusing mess of many and poorly placed signs, blind turns, dead ends, narrowness, "sneaky" one way steets, and utter confusion to a new guy that I certainly could not have dreamed of if I tried. I have come close to turning down pedestian bridges a few times and I have seen others almost do it to.

That said, him being a taxi driver I imagine he knew exactly where he was going.

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Disillusioned. Murder attempt? Using his taxi as a weapon? Maybe it's better to refrain from reacting to this nonsense, because you already made yourself ridiculous enough.

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kyushujoe said -

there was a problem with the accelerator

Does anyone know if it was a Toyota?

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That said, him being a taxi driver I imagine he knew exactly where he was going. was pretty funny!

To someone who has caught a few taxis in Tokyo, that was pretty funny!

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Hi kyushujoe, The Taxi was a Toyota Comfort. The Driver was old but he did have problems with the car and had it checked out. I'm almost possitive he didn't have the gas pedal pressed even though he was old. Still I don't know any case where the driver was young. So I'll keep my eyes open for this sort of news. I don't think it's limited to Toyota. So no matter what your car make is practice putting it into nutral if it ever has the mind to accelerate on it's own. Very few cars have this problem but when they do we see them in the news.

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it could have always been a the gas throttle cable -- use to cause my old eclipse's gas pedal to stick and suddenly accelerate. But I'm sure something like that wouldn't pass inspection had it actually been looked at. Maybe it was the pedal itself, or the object pressing down on the pedal, who knows...

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Cannot be related with being a 73 years old cab driver, and a long working shift that started 50 years ago?

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Older people are prone to muscle spasms and cramps. It's been reported that a toe can curl to a 90 degree angle.

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@ my2sense. "yak controlled area" my arse. even the yaks wouldnt be so stupid to draw so much attention. this area is no dogier than other areas of minami in the wee hours. yak controlled my arse

clueless.

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Osaka is a joke! It is like a poor cousin of the real Japan so I am never surprised by all the stupid incidents that come out of Osaka, which must be worse than poor Saitama.

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