“A life-saving ditch” The impact of 2000 casualties August 8 at 19:55
“Man-eating irrigation channels” In Okayama Prefecture, there are many accidents that occur as usual. However, it was not known how many people were killed or injured in a irrigation accident. As a result of NHK's interviews with fire departments in 15 prefectures where there were many accidents in the past, it was found that at least about 2000 people were killed or injured in the last year. What is necessary to prevent new damage? We proceeded with coverage. (Toyama Broadcasting Station reporter Mari Saeki Nakatani)
Accidents not included in police statistics?
Atsuko Miyanishi (81) lives in Nanto City, Toyama Prefecture. In March of last year, while walking around his home, he fell into a irrigation channel and lost consciousness.
Mr. Miyanishi regained his consciousness in the dark under the road where the flow was slow, and was saved by being hungry. He cut his forehead over 20 centimeters and was injured enough to expose his bones.
If consciousness does not return, it is said that the river was washed away.
"I was on my way home after burning garbage. I don't remember how it fell to the irrigation canal. Since March, the water was cold and cold and cold, and I was hurt and blood was coming out. I just do n’t want to walk by my side. ”
However, when proceeding with the interview, this accident was not included in the police statistics and was not understood by the local government. In response to the fall accident, there was no alert to local residents.
Isn't it just a problem in Toyama Prefecture?
Why isn't it included in police statistics?
In the first place, the police have taken statistics as “water accidents” only for drowning in irrigation canals. It is not recorded in the category of “irrigation canal”.
For example, accidents in irrigated canals are not included in police statistics. Also, if you fall into a waterway by bicycle or car, you may be treated as a traffic accident. I don't know where and how much the irrigation accident has occurred.
Isn't this a problem only in Toyama Prefecture?
There may be more irrigation accidents across the country.
We have begun to report to the fire department headquarters nationwide.
154 dead in 15 prefectures
The interviewees covered 15 prefectures where police deaths were particularly fatal. Based on the records of emergency transport, all 233 firefighting headquarters independently covered the cases of deaths and injuries caused by accidents in irrigation channels and ditches in the last year.
In the interview, there was a voice such as “Why is such a coverage necessary?”, But “It is necessary to convey the actual situation of the dead / injured person in order to reduce accidents in irrigation canals and gutters” and seek understanding. It was.
Then, we spent about 5 months collecting and collecting data.
As a result, it became clear that at least 154 people died in a waterway accident last year and 1815 people were injured.
There were 21 people in Niigata prefecture, the most dead, followed by 18 people in Toyama and Okayama prefectures, and 14 people in Kumamoto and Oita prefectures.
The number of injuries is 337 in Osaka, 259 in Okayama, 210 in Kagawa, and 179 in Niigata.
According to police statistics, 47 people died last year and 7 people were injured. The death toll has more than tripled and the number of injured has risen 260 times.
In this interview with the fire department, 10 people in Nagano Prefecture, 3 people in Hokkaido, and 2 people in Osaka Prefecture actually died because of police statistics.
Firefighters will rush to rescue if they receive a 119 report in an accident at a irrigation canal or a ditch, but especially in the case of injury, there are few cases of reporting to the police unlike traffic accidents etc. This is a factor that causes such separation .
Accidents that can no longer be ignored
Last year, when interviewing Nagano Prefecture, where 10 people died in the irrigation canal, “When a irrigation accident occurs at a conference involving local governments and land improvement districts, we are promptly reporting to the prefecture. I think that it is necessary to understand the actual situation of irrigation canal accidents, but the situation is not so far.
Professor Hidetoshi Saito of Nagaoka University of Technology, who is familiar with water accidents, points out:
“The irrigation canal is no longer“ negligible ”. As the aging of population is rapidly progressing, the irrigation canal near the residential area becomes a new risk and there is a possibility that the number of deaths and injuries will increase in the future. In order to understand the actual situation and take appropriate measures, it is indispensable for the police, the fire department, and the government to work together to understand the trends and risks of accidents. ''
Utilizing actual situation grasp for countermeasures
How can we reduce accidents? A hint is the efforts of Okayama Prefecture and Okayama City, where there are many irrigation channel accidents throughout the country.
Okayama Prefecture is promoting the creation of a system that unifies accidents in a unified manner by related organizations.
In addition, Okayama city has a irrigation channel of about 4000 km in the city. For this reason, the city collects information from the neighborhood associations in addition to the data on fire irrigation canals. The staff will directly visit the locations that are identified as dangerous. And the risk is evaluated by the score based on the structure of the road and the presence or absence of fences. A place that exceeds 20 points on a 50-point evaluation is considered necessary.
This irrigation canal in Kita Ward, Okayama City, was suddenly narrowed and has a high risk of falling because there was no streetlight at night. The city was rated 28 points, and the city installed a new guardrail.
Okayama City inspected approximately 2500 locations in FY2016. Since there are over 20 points at 953 places, which is close to 40%, we are proceeding with preferential measures. As a result, as of the end of December last year, construction was completed at 784 locations.
“If we don't understand the actual situation of the irrigation canal, we can't take countermeasures. We believe it is important to prioritize the danger areas and take countermeasures. I don't know, but I think it is important to continue to protect the lives of the residents. ''
Confront countermeasures for “waterway accidents”
This interview revealed that many irrigation channel accidents have been overlooked so far.
Compared to “traffic accidents” and “fires”, the danger of “irrigation accidents” is still not recognized. For this reason, despite the fact that accidents have continued throughout the country, there is still no unified “statistics”. And since the actual situation is unknown, no full-scale measures have been taken until now.
The irrigation canals have a total length of 400,000 kilometers nationwide and are 10 laps in length, making it difficult to implement measures such as fences and lids on all irrigation canals. In order to reduce the irrigation accidents where many lives are lost every year, it is important to understand the actual situation and analyze the trend to give priority measures. In addition, it is necessary for each of us to recognize the danger and pay attention.
It is also important for the government to appeal to the public about the dangers of irrigation canals by conducting educational activities such as traffic safety campaigns. An irrigation accident involving approximately 2000 casualties nationwide. I think the time has come to face the risks that have been highlighted.
We would like to continue to report on this “canal accident”. We look forward to providing you with the information you have read.
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