Hokkaido bus crash: 13 S'pore tourists discharged from hospital

SINGAPORE - 13 Singaporean tourists, who were injured when a bus they were in collided with a truck in Hokkaido, Japan on Thursday morning, have been discharged from hospital.

At a doctor's advice, one Singaporean is still under observation for two days in hospital, according to The Straits Times. 

The collision happened at about 9.40am Japan time (8.40am Singapore time), near the popular tourist spot of Onuma, near the city of Hakodate in southern Hokkaido. The bus, which was carrying 33 Singaporean tourists, was heading to the city of Sapporo.

When contacted by The Straits Times, a Singapore's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) spokesman said: "MFA is aware of the case. Our Embassy in Tokyo is working with the local Japanese authorities to render consular assistance to the affected Singaporeans."

The Straits Times also reported that both drivers of the vehicles in the collision were killed.

14 people were injured, including one hurt seriously, The Straits Times quoted Kyodo News as saying. All the injured had been sent to various hospitals in the area.

Yomiuri Shinbun reported that the bus collided with the two-tonne truck on National Route 5, a major highway.

A spokesman from Singapore travel agent Hong Thai Travel Services, which handled the tour, has said that several Singaporeans suffered sprains, but none sustained major injuries, Channel NewsAsia reported.

The spokesperson told The Straits Times that 31 passengers have requested to proceed with their itinerary.

The Straits Times quoted an eye-witness as saying that the bus was trying to avoid the truck, which had veered into the opposite lane.