Japanese typhoon rescue ends in tragedy

Tokyo Fire Department helicopters
Tokyo Fire Department helicopters (c) Micchee_helicopter_jp

Super-typhoon Hagibis, which hit Japan on 12 October, has so far claimed 40 lives; sadly, one of these was lost when a woman who was being winched up into a Tokyo Fire Department rescue helicopter fell from the hoist

The 77-year-old woman died on 13 October after rescuers reportedly failed to properly attach the safety harness.

Hirofumi Shimizu of the TFD said the rescuers ‘deeply sorry for carrying out the wrong procedure’ during the rescue operation. According to the Fire Department, two personnel were taking part in the rescue operation, in which woman had been wrapped in a bag-shaped carrier and was being winched to safety. One of the rescuers dropped her as he was placing her in a helicopter because she had not been properly secured to the hoist, department officials said.

More than 110,000 rescuers are currently searching for survivors in Japan as the typhoon subsides, with staff from the Japanese Self-Defence Forces, Coast Guard, police and fire departments among those deployed.