AT LEAST seven die in crowd crush after fireworks festival in Japan

Saturday, July 21st 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TOKYO (AP) _ A crush in a crowd leaving a fireworks display in a Japanese city on Saturday killed at least seven people and injured dozens, including many children, police said.

The youngest of the dead was 2 years old, said a police official in Hyogo Prefecture, which is about 250 miles southwest of Tokyo.

Kyodo News agency and national broadcaster NHK said nine people were killed.

The accident happened after the fireworks as people crowded together on a pedestrian overpass outside the railway station in Akashi, a city in Hyogo, police spokesman Masafumi Oshita told The Associated Press.

Up to 100 people were injured, several seriously, firefighters told Kyodo.

TV broadcasts showed a crowd at the scene, including youths in T-shirts and young women in cotton kimonos, while the red lights of emergency vehicles flashed in the darkness.

Earlier, Oshita said 26 people were taken to hospitals after falling down the steps of a pedestrian overpass.