Two toddlers killed as car rams into preschoolers

TOKYO • A car ploughed into a group of kindergarten children in western Japan's Shiga region yesterday, killing two toddlers and injuring others, with one still in critical condition.

Police said the car veered onto the pavement after "making contact" with another larger vehicle that was turning at a junction in Otsu city. The accident killed a girl and a boy, both two years old.

"The (smaller) car rammed into a group of 13 nursery schoolchildren and three teachers who were walking on the pavement," the police said in a statement.

A police spokesman said others in the group suffered injuries, but declined to give further details. One remained in critical condition.

There were no immediate details on the teachers.

The children and their teachers were on the pavement near a crossing when the small vehicle crashed into them.

Japanese nursery schools regularly take children to the local park for playtime or out on short excursions during the day.

"We're very shocked and terribly saddened by this ghastly accident. We are truly sorry," the company operating the nursery said in a statement on their Facebook page.

Footage on local media in the aftermath of the accident showed one car had veered off the road and onto the pavement. A second car that appeared to have been damaged in a crash could be seen still on the road.

Police said they had arrested the drivers of both cars - two women aged 52 and 62.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 09, 2019, with the headline 'Two toddlers killed as car rams into preschoolers'. Print Edition | Subscribe