Mentally-Disabled Japanese Man Dies After Being Left Inside Hot Van for 6 Hours

Photo via Kyodo News

A mentally-disabled Japanese man met an unfortunate death on Thursday after being left inside the service van of a welfare facility in eastern Japan.

The man, aged 19, was among other clients of the facility called Cosmos Earth in Ageo, Saitama Prefecture.

According to police, the man apparently died of heat stroke, as he was left in the vehicle under a scorching sun for about six hours. Local weather was recorded at 33.1°C (91.58°F) for the day, Kyodo News reported.

Authorities are looking at professional negligence on the part of the facility staff, who likely forgot about him after assisting four other clients out of the vehicle around 9 a.m.

The man was found unconscious around 3:25 p.m., just before the facility closed at 4:00. Rescue workers recorded his body temperature at 41.4°C (106.52°F). He was rushed to the hospital for treatment but died shortly after.

Kenji Otsuka

Welfare facility caretaker Kenji Otsuka told reporters:

“I apologize to him and to his family from the bottom of my heart.”

Whoever is accountable for the man’s death is yet to be determined.

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