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3 people hurt in central Japan bear attacks, including bullet train building site worker


FUKUI -- Attacks by two bears injured three people in the central Japan prefecture of Fukui on Oct. 23, including at a shinkansen bullet train line construction site, authorities have announced.

    According to the city of Tsuruga and West Japan Railway Co. (JR West), a 56-year-old JR West employee who was stretching before work at a rail yard some 1.2 kilometers south of JR Tsuruga Station was mauled by an about 1-meter-long adult male Asian black bear at around 8:30 a.m. The worker was scratched on the neck and right shoulder, but suffered no life-threatening injuries.

    About 10 minutes after the first attack, a 49-year-old contract worker at a construction site of the Hokuriku Shinkansen bullet train line, several hundred meters east of the rail yard, was attacked by the same bear, leaving him with a broken left leg and other serious injuries. The bear was shot and killed by a local hunting team at around 11 a.m. at the bullet train line construction site.

    Another bear attacked a woman in her 70s in the prefectural city of Ono at around 1 p.m. when she was getting in her car at her residence. The bear bit her on the back of her head and left arm before leaving. Her injuries are not life-threatening. Authorities including the Ono Municipal Government are calling for people to be on the alert as the animal remains at large.

    (Japanese original by Sho Ohara and Chika Yokomi, Fukui Bureau)

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