‘Human Bones’ Found in Car; Vehicle Struck by Landslide in Nara Prefecture

The Yomiuri Shimbun
A car covered with blue tarps is removed from the site of a landslide on Thursday afternoon.

Burnt objects resembling human bones were found near the driver’s seat of a car buried in soil and sand Thursday at the site of a landslide that occurred on a national highway in Shimokitayama, Nara Prefecture.

Nara prefectural police believe the objects may be the bones of a man in his 70s from Hashimoto, Wakayama Prefecture, who is missing. They are working to identify the objects.

The police and firefighters discovered what appeared to be multiple human bones near the driver’s seat around 10:30 a.m. on Thursday as they were removing earth and sand. The gender was unknown, and clothing could not be confirmed.

The car was crushed to a height of about 50 centimeters by earth and sand and a protective wall that collapsed. It was severely burned, and police believe the fire was somehow triggered by the landslide.

The incident occurred on Saturday night, when a 40-meter-high, 30-meter-wide roadside slope collapsed. A man in his 50s from Mie Prefecture was rescued early Sunday from another car that was also caught in the mudslide.