A sudden landslide on a road in Akita Prefecture on Thursday has resulted in the death of one of the crew working on it, while his other four co-workers are still buried somewhere in the rubble. Rescue workers are still trying to find the others who were swallowed by the ground when the road suddenly collapsed on them.
The road workers were repairing a road on the mountain slope in Yurihonjo City that had been showing cracks when intermittent rain started to fall. A portion of the slope, around 40 meters high and 70 meters wide, softened due to the rain and became loose. The landslide buried the five workers, four men and one woman, plus their machinery. The incident occurred at around 3:20 PM on Thursday afternoon.
A search and rescue team started digging around the rubble of the collapsed road and managed to retrieve one of the workers, rushing him to the hospital but he died later on. A sixth person was also injured and was taken to the hospital for treatment. The other four workers are still buried under the road and police and firefighters are still searching for them. City officials say they outsourced the road repairs for a few months now after they discovered cracks in the slope in November of last year.
[ via NHK ]