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Family members file suit in 2009 flash flood deaths

Date Posted: 2010-08-19

Family members representing three of four workers killed a year ago when flash flooding ripped through Naha City’s Higawa area are filing lawsuits against five entities they claim are responsible for the deaths.

Flood waters raged down the Gaabu River August 18, 2009, sweeping a team of inspectors downriver to their deaths. The four men who died were inspecting construction of a bridge over the river to insure compliance with earthquake regulations. Family members say the accident should never have happened, and want facts to come out in a trial as to wrongdoing on part of companies involved in building the bridge.

The five defendants are Naha City, the Association of Maintenance Work of the Agriculture Cooperative, a construction consultant company, Okinawa Planning Center and Marutaka Construction Company. The dead workers’ family members contend the companies should have better checked weather reports and been prepared to deal with emergencies. They also maintain the companies should have called a halt to the work when the weather became bad. Naha City has declined comment on the lawsuit.

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