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Worker dies after accident on Mt. Hakodate Ropeway during maintenance work

This photo taken on Dec. 11, 2016, shows Sanroku Station on the Mount Hakodate ropeway, where a worker was injured during maintenance work and subsequently died. (Mainichi)

HAKODATE, Hokkaido -- A worker on the Mount Hakodate Ropeway in this city in Hokkaido has died following an injury sustained while cleaning the ropeway on Dec. 11, police said.

    At around 5:20 p.m. on Dec. 11, an emergency call was made from Sanroku Station on the Mount Hakodate Ropeway after worker Ryohei Narita's body became caught in the ropeway machinery. Narita was later taken to the hospital but was pronounced dead a few hours later at around 12:10 a.m. on Dec. 12. The cause of death was hemorrhagic shock.

    According to authorities such as local police, Narita was cleaning up an oil leak on his own when his thighs were caught between a wheel stop and a gondola pulley. He was still conscious as he was taken away from the accident site, but later died in hospital.

    At the time of the accident, many visitors were enjoying the spectacular night view from the top of the mountain, and approximately 1,000 visitors were left stranded. Later, a taxi service was introduced to help stranded visitors return to the bottom, and it took up to 4.5 hours to get everybody back down.

    Takashi Takemura, president of Mt. Hakodate Ropeway Corp. stated, "We apologize for the inconvenience to our customers. We will look into the causes of the accident and work toward preventing this from happening again." It is not yet known when the ropeway service will resume.

    Mount Hakodate is renowned across the world for its spectacular nighttime views, and is classed in the top three night views in the world -- together with Naples and Hong Kong.

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