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1 Killed, 6 Injured in Japan Flood

August 7, 2000

TOKYO (AP) _ A flash flood hit a group of elementary school students and their chaperones on a hiking trip in the mountains of northern Japan, killing a 55-year-old man and injuring six other adults, police said Monday.

Heavy rains early Sunday caused the Yubiso River at the foot of Mount Tanigawa to swell, touching off mudslides, said local police spokesman Kaoru Tashiro. A group of 18 elementary school soccer players and 13 adults were caught in the flooding, and two adults were swept away in the waist-deep rush of water.

Their coach, Katsuo Hagiwara, was later found about 400 yards downstream, Tashiro said. Hagiwara was taken to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead, police said.

Police rescued a 39-year-old woman who also drifted down the river, Tashiro said. She suffered a broken hip.

Five other adults received light bruises and did not require hospitalization, Tashiro said. None of the children were injured.

Twenty-nine people were stranded on the river bank and rescued by helicopter, Tashiro said.

Mount Tanigawa is about 96 miles north of Tokyo.

Update hourly