The parents of four children who died when their kindergarten bus was swept away by the tsunami in Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture on March 11 are suing the kindergarten for damages. The families claim that the kindergarten sent out the school bus despite having been alerted 20 minutes earlier that a large tsunami was approaching.
The families also claim the bus was driven too close to the ocean, despite the forewarning. They say the children should have been kept at the kindergarten which is located on higher ground. The bus left the kindergarten with 12 children, and dropped seven off before it was hit by the tsunami. It caught fire, killing the remaining five children and the driver. The families of four of those children are suing the kindergarten for 270 million yen.
One of the bereaved parents told a news conference in Sendai on Wednesday: "We'd like to hear the kindergarten apologize sincerely for failing to take adequate measures to protect the children. The bus should have at least turned back."
A representative of the kindergarten said they plan to examine the nature and content of the complaint before deciding on the best course of action.© Japan Today