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Japan singer Iyo Matsumoto suffers spinal fracture as TV quiz shoot goes wrong

The TBS Broadcasting Center is seen in Tokyo's Minato Ward. (Mainichi)

TOKYO -- Singer and entertainer Iyo Matsumoto fractured her spine when falling into a pit during the shooting of a TV variety show at a studio in Tokyo on Nov. 24, Tokyo Broadcasting System Television Inc. (TBS) announced on Nov. 26.

    The compression fracture of her lumbar spine was diagnosed to take around three months to completely heal, the broadcaster said.

    According to TBS, Matsumoto, 57, was taking part in the shooting of a project for the TV show "Okami Shonen," in which guests who give incorrect answers to quiz questions fall into a roughly 2.7-meter-deep pit. While the bottom of the pit was covered with polyurethane foam mats and cubic cushions to absorb the impact, Matsumoto nevertheless injured her lower back.

    "We'd carried out this project twice in the past, and our staff had repeatedly simulated the scene in advance. While we'd strived to take safety measures, we are deeply sorry for what has happened," said a TBS representative.

    Matsumoto released a comment via TBS, saying, "I'll devote myself to treatment for now, and will do my best to get better as soon as possible."

    In the TV show, guests answer prerecorded video questions by labeling them either "lie" or "truth," according to TBS's website. The program is emceed by Masatoshi Hamada of comedy duo Downtown.

    (Japanese original by Yuri Hirabayashi, Cultural News Department)

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