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Runaway car injures nine in crowded flea market

Date Posted: 2006-03-24

More than 600 people were in the Makiminato Fishermen’s Wharf area Sunday when a car raced out of control, crashing into the crowd.

“There was some kind of car engine noise near me,” said a witness. “I turned around and there was a car coming at me. It was too quick, and it hit me. There was no time to escape.” Nine people were injured in the incident, which police blamed on a driver whose foot hit the wrong pedal.

“I pushed the wrong one,” the 69-year-old driver told police. “I pushed the accelerator instead of the brake pedal.” The car careened into the flea market, sending merchandise and vendor stalls flying across the wharf’s parking lot, where the flea market activities take place. Urasoe City police weren’t certain exactly how many were actually struck by the car, but one witness said there there were many lying on the ground. Nine were injured and taken to a hospital, including one baby. Medical officials say all injuries were minor.

The flea market takes place at the Makiminato Fishermen’s Wharf the third Sunday of each month. The event is organized by a volunteer group, and typically attracts as many as 1,000 people.

A police investigation continues.

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