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Kobe city bus hits at least 8 people, 2 dead

This photo shows the scene of an accident where a public bus hit pedestrians in the city of Kobe in western Japan. (Kyodo)

KOBE (Kyodo) -- A public bus hit pedestrians on Sunday at a crosswalk near a major railway station in the city of Kobe in western Japan, killing two people and injuring at least six others.

    The city's fire department said it received an emergency call around 2 p.m. about the accident involving the city-run bus that occurred on a road near JR Sannomiya Station.

    "The bus suddenly accelerated and hit people," local police quoted the 64-year-old driver, Fumio Ono, who was arrested at the scene, as saying.

    Ono also said he had stepped on the brake pedal, while explaining that the accident took place after he dropped off all of his passengers at a bus stop near the scene, according to the police.

    The driver was quoted as saying he was supposed to have stopped at a line before a pedestrian crossing but the bus did not do so.

    The accident happened on a prefectural road with four lanes on each side running in opposite directions in a major Kobe shopping district. The bus stopped after it smashed into the road's divider.

    The police said a man and a woman, both believed to be in their 20s, died in the accident.

    The fatal accident came just two days after a car hit a guard rail and plowed through three crossings in Tokyo's busy Ikebukuro district, resulting in the deaths of a young girl and her mother, which have grabbed national headlines.

    The car was driven by an 87-year-old man and Tokyo police believe that the accident, which also hurt eight others including the man, was caused by him mistakenly hitting the accelerator.

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