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74-year-old man dies after falling from roof while clearing snow

15 Comments

A 74-year-old man was found dead on the ground outside a cabin beside his home in Yokote, Akita Prefecture, after he apparently fell from the roof while clearing snow.

According to police, Shigeru Awazu was found by his family members just before 7 p.m. on Wednesday. He was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival, TV Asahi reported.

Police found both a snow shovel nearby, and a ladder propped up against the cabin, leading them to believe that the man may have fallen while trying to remove snow from the roof.

There have have been a number of similar deaths in northern Japan this month. Authorities have cautioned elderly people to be careful when clearing snow from the rooftops.

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15 Comments
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The elderly dies every winter while cleaning snow off the roof. Be more careful.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This happens on multiple occasions, year after year after year. No surprise here. It's like these old fools have a death wish, for surely, they are aware of the dangers, no?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

@Knox

Lighten up, it's Christmas! He was probably very aware of the dangers of a collapsed roof due to the weight of snow, and did what he thought he had to do.

Same age as my old man... RIP.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This happens on multiple occasions, year after year after year. No surprise here. It's like these old fools have a death wish, for surely, they are aware of the dangers, no?

Traffic accidents happen frequently too, and most people are aware of the dangers of driving. But they still drive. These old fools are no more foolish than you, but they do have to shovel many tons more snow than you do. If they leave it, it can cave their roof in - would you sleep easy at night with five feet of snow on your roof that you hadn't bothered to remove?

People who live in these areas are probably more aware than you of the dangers, but one way or another, they need to deal with the snow, and there is a risk in that. The current snow depth in Yokote is 73 cm. This is still the early stage of winter, there are two more months of heavy snow to come. In January, an area like this can expect snow to fall on almost every day of the month, including two or three heavy dumps along with some fairly constant accumulation.

It's the height of complacency to sit around passing comment on these deaths and calling people stupid when you don't even understand the conditions they have to deal with - not just this winter, but every winter.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

luca,

I'm alit, alright. These old people (of which there are a multitude here) always overestimate their own abilities. That's the problem. A 74-year old has no business on s slippery roof. Best yhing would be to ask for help. Professional help. Maybe from the city...

wipeout,

What's with the confrontational tone? You have no idea how much snow I shovel in a year. You talk about passing comment, but I think you are doing a pretty bang up job at that yourself.

Now go get your shine box!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

wipeout, What's with the confrontational tone?

Well I assumed that when you referred to someone who died in an accident as an old fool, that it was open season. Perhaps I misjudged the delicate balance you'd achieved between crapping on someone else while keeping yourself clean.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Why aren't houses built with more extreme degrees of roofs, as they were in the past? No need to shovel off tons of snow with a steep roof that lets it just slide off!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I suppose that with all previous accidents and deaths, the neighbothood chief could devise a volunteer squad to help the elderly. Or they could invent a mechaical way to push snow down without a need to climb the roof.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Have you guys seen these cities along the Sea of Japan during winter?

The roofs are slanted, but the snow is super sticky and it snows so much. Moreover, these deaths happen in rural areas where there aren't enough people to go around cleaning all the snow, which after all keeps replenishing itself. The civil servants are up to their necks clearing snow from public buildings and roads, and they do in fact try to help the elderly with priority.

Go look up the ranking of top 10 snowiest cities http://www.accuweather.com/en/features/trend/top-10-snowiest-major-cities-a/23760437

0 ( +1 / -1 )

But they could build houses that have rooves with a steeper pitch.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Knox Wow! I hope you stay young forever.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

See old people clearing their roofs here in Nagano all the time. It looks so dangerous. I'm in my late 20s but you wouldn't get me up there! Hoping we don't have to read too many more of these stories this winter.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It seems every year I read the same headline. Are stricter measures needed to ensure the safety of the elderly?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It seems every year I read the same headline. Are stricter measures needed to ensure the safety of the elderly?

Would you prefer to read the headlines of people dying because their roofs caved in, and they either got crushed by the snow, or froze to death because they had no roof?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Stricter measures, GP? Let people take care of themselves, roofs need clearing, ideally people wouldnt get hurt or killed doing so, but it is not beneficial for the government to get involved, there is enough Big Brother is watching you already in the world today without legislating against old men clearing their own property.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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