14 fall from snow-covered roof at World Heritage site in Japan

Written by: Pti
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Gifu (Japan), Jan 31 (Kyodo) Fourteen men fell from thesnow-covered roof of a temple at a World Heritage site in thevillage of Shirakawa in Gifu Prefecture as Japan saw heavysnow centering on the Sea of Japan side.

The accident occurred yesterday morning at around 8:10 amlocal time when the men began removing snow for the first timethis winter from the thatched roof of Myozenji in themountainous village in central Japan, and two of them werehospitalized with slight injuries, police said.

Snow cover about 1 meter deep below the roof apparentlycushioned the impact of the men''s roughly 5-meter fall, thepolice said.

The Japan Meteorological Agency issued a fresh warning ofheavy snow in wide areas in Japan the same day, as twice asmuch snow as an average year covered areas from northeasternJapan to the Sea of Japan side of western Japan, disruptingtrain services, flights and highway traffic.

Snow is forecast to continue through today and cover someflatland on the Pacific side as well, it added. (Kyodo)

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