The Washington Post on a giant kite killing one, and injuring three at a Japanese festival in Higashiomi as it turns into tragedy:
Spectators watched in horror on Sunday as a 1,540-pound kite fell from the sky and crushed four people in the central Japanese city of Higashiomi. On Tuesday, one of those injured, 73-year-old Junichi Yoshii, died from his injuries, according to Agence France-Press.
“It felt like a huge spear falling from the sky at high speed,” witness Yuko Kayaki told the Asahi Shimbun.
Japanese news footage showed the giant toy plummeting into a crowd. A local weather observatory had issued a strong wind warning around the time of the incident, according to the Asahi Shimbun.
Kayaki, 29, was visiting Higashiomi from her home town half an hour away. She said the kite showed signs of instability about five minutes into its flight.
“She said the kite appeared to tilt to the side and then it suddenly crashed to the ground as frightened spectators cried out and scrambled to get out of the way,” Asahi Shimbun reported. “Most of them didn’t make it.”
The three others injured in the accident included two men, ages 78 and 62, and a 7-year-old boy. Flying the huge kite is an annual tradition in Higashiomi. It measures 43 feet by 39 feet — nearly the size of half a basketball court — and is made of nearly a ton of bamboo and paper.
Mikoshi Parades are festivals all across Japan, with certain rural locations renown for the dangerous way the mikoshi is carried through the town. This is not the first time tragedy has struck a Japanese festival, and likely will not be the last.