The exterior wall of the metal processing factory, owned by Kanzen Co., collapsed on the road running along the north side of the factory at around 3:30 p.m. on Oct. 14. The three-story building had been undergoing demolition work as part of a road-expansion project, police said.
About an hour after the wall collapsed, Yukari Kawase, 17, a second-year student at a local high school, was found trapped underneath the rubble. She was rushed to hospital but confirmed dead. Kawase was killed almost instantly, investigators said.
A witness reportedly told police that during dismantling operations, a crane’s hook got caught in the wire-mesh frame of scaffolding fixed to the factory’s wall. When the crane tried pulling out the hook, the wall rocked and then collapsed.
Kawase was riding her bicycle on the other side of the 10-meter-wide road when the wall — about 11 meters tall — fell over, burying the entire street. She was traveling to her home in the neighboring city of Ogaki at the time.
Police have launched a probe into the fatal accident on suspicion of professional negligence resulting in death and are questioning construction workers at the site.