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Workman emerging from manhole on street dies after being hit by car

14 Comments

A 47-year-old workman who was climbing out of a manhole in a street in Kariya, Aichi Prefecture, has died after being hit by a car on Friday.

According to police, the incident occurred at around 10:20 a.m. Friday. Fuji TV reported that Terumasa Hayashi had been inspecting sewage pipes. When he lifted the manhole lid, which was on a crossing at an intersection, and stuck his head out, he was hit by a car making a right turn and fell three meters back down.

Hayashi was taken to hospital where he remained in a coma until he died early Saturday morning. The 47-year-old driver of the car was quoted by police as saying he didn't see the man pop his head out of the manhole.

Police said at the time of the accident, there was no barrier around the manhole cover. There was one security guard directing traffic but he was facing north when Hayashi lifted the manhole cover and was hit by a car traveling south.

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14 Comments
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Somebody obviously dropped the ball on this one.

13 ( +13 / -0 )

Terrible. RIP.

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Sad for him and his family. Tragic !

10 ( +10 / -0 )

With the amount of glow stick waving going on here, 3 guys watching 1 guy digging etc how the hell could this happen, RIP.

18 ( +18 / -0 )

workplace negligence. his family should sue the hell out of them. and what of the driver?

-11 ( +3 / -14 )

Police said at the time of the accident, there was no barrier around the manhole cover. There was one security guard directing traffic but he was facing north when Hayashi lifted the manhole cover and was hit by a car traveling south.

This is precisely the sort of accident I thought would be impossible here, seeing how every construction site is surrounded by a horde of traffic guards. (Even on the sidewalk...) Poor guy!

11 ( +11 / -0 )

Tragedy definitely due to lack of basic security measures. A barrier costs nothing, and even it's not a big deal to bar a line of road for couple hours in Kariya Inaka. Those that hired him didn't make any effort for the man's safety.

 what of the driver? 

Should we do a test to see who would notice all the "manhole lids,... on a crossing at an intersection" that suddenly pop up when your car is already there ?

12 ( +12 / -0 )

The only thing that makes sense is that perhaps the man underground got confused as to which manhole was within the cordoned off area and was meant to come out of another.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Terumasa Hayashi had been inspecting sewage pipes. When he lifted the manhole lid, which was on a crossing at an intersection, and stuck his head out, he was hit by a car

Hells bells. Why was he emerging from a closed manhole anyway? Cordon the area off and keep the means of ingress/egress open at all times.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Can't really be the driver's fault if there were no barriers, and the likely elderly man direct traffic can't really be faulted either, since they probably weren't in communication with each other and the guy had to work different directions.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

i feel sorry for the driver. I hope the police do not press charges.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

There are so many things wrong with this it beggars belief. Why no barriers? Why was he not attached to a line via an A-frame to the top man? What was he doing lifting a manhole cover from below? Very poor confined space working practice. I’ve seen several unprotected underground utilities workers over the years. These accidents happen and it’s hard to understand why past lessons have not been learned. It’s sad that the guy is likely to be seen to be at least partly culpable for his own demise.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

My wife is from near Kariya. It's suburbs, not proper inaka, but is far enough outside the city for many people to drive everywhere. Given the precautions I see in genuine inaka, it's poor practice for this man to not be given proper protection there.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

If you've ever worked in manholes in the middle of busy streets, you know the risks of being perhaps beheaded as you leave the hole (here, telephone trunk cable vaults). Yes, there are barriers of a sort to warn drivers but no guarantees. To blindly open a hole from below that's in traffic is, here, entirely the responsibility of the injured worker. It was a foolish move. Certainly better protections might have been in place but clearly the manhole opening was an unexpected move for the flagger above who was presumably tending the original entrance. Working in the middle of busy multilane urban streets is dangerous even with 'protections', a hole ring, and a Mopeco with large hose around the hole. Raising one's head out of a manhole is a learned response which, sadly, this man failed to learn. Requiescat in pace, poor Sir.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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