Tokyo: seven Brazilians killed in multiple vehicle pileup on highway

A seven-vehicle accident killed seven Brazilians on a Japanese highway Sunday as they stood on the roadside next to their damaged minivan and were hit by an oncoming truck.

Three Japanese were also injured in the accident, which occurred just before daybreak in the central prefecture (state) of Shiga and involved two passenger cars, two buses and three trucks, said police official Satoshi Takada.

The Brazilians were all employees at a Shiga metalworking plant and had been out for a drive, Takada said.

The chain reaction accident was triggered after a first truck hit the Brazilians' minivan, and the other vehicles piled in from behind. A third truck tried swerving to avoid the wreckage but hit the Brazilians as they waited on the shoulder of the highway.

The driver of the truck was arrested for professional negligence, Takada said.

About 50 people were aboard the two buses that were involved in the accident, but they were not hurt, reported AP.

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