Bus sped up just before plunging off Nagano highway, video shows

A tour bus that veered off a road is seen after it crashed in Karuizawa, Nagano prefecture, Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo January 15, 2016.
PHOTO: Reuters

A ski tour bus that veered off a highway in Nagano Prefecture in a crash that claimed 15 lives last week suddenly accelerated about 250 meters from the crash site, according to security camera footage released by the transport ministry on Wednesday.

The security camera, set up beside the road about 250 meters from the accident site, captured footage showing the bus appearing to accelerate as it swerves across the centre line with its brake lights on during an S-curve turn. The bus was moving away from the camera at the time.

The footage shows sudden acceleration compared to footage captured by another security camera about a kilometer away from the crash site, which was also released by the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry on Wednesday.

Sources within the Nagano prefectural police believe the bus was most likely exceeding the speed limit of 50 kph, based on an examination of a guardrail at the site that was pushed down over a span of about 10 meters. The bus plunged about three meters down a bank.

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