Tanker smashes into Kansai airport bridge as typhoon hits Japan

A tanker smashed into the bridge linking Kansai International Airport with the mainland on Tuesday as strong winds and high waves from a powerful typhoon blasted western Japan.

The 2,591-ton Houn Maru had been anchored in Osaka Bay but was swept toward the approximately 3,700-meter-long bridge around 1 p.m., damaging the sole gateway by land to the airport that sits on a manmade island in Osaka Bay.

(Photo courtesy of West Nippon Expressway Co.)

None of the ship’s 11 crew members were injured in the incident, according to the local coast guard.

The transport ministry said the airport closed all of its runways at noon and shut down the entire facility from 3 p.m. due to flooding.

The airport’s runway and the basement floor of a terminal building have been flooded, according to airport officials.

At least 2 dead, many injured as typhoon hits western Japan, shuts down airport

Tuesday was the 24th anniversary of the opening of the airport in 1994. It is now the third busiest airport in Japan.

Dozens of salvage barges were also swept away at Kobe-Osaka port after their ropes snapped due to the strong winds. While some people remain onboard, there has been no report of injuries, according to the coast guard.

All — Kyodo News+

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