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Giant Kites Keep Killing People In Asia

A man in Japan died Sunday after a giant bamboo-framed kite came crashing out of the sky and crushed four people.

The 1,500 pound kite was being flown as part of a festival at a park in the city of Higashiomi when a gust of wind forced it to the ground from around 650 feet in the air, according to the Hindustan Times.

An official told reporters a 73-year-old man died in the hospital of injuries sustained from the falling kite.

Three other people were hurt in the incident, including two other elderly men and a 7-year-old boy, according to Agence France-Presse.

“Safety measures were insufficient,” said Masakiyo Ogura, the city’s mayor. “I want to sincerely apologise to visitors and our residents.”

Earlier in the day, a local weather observatory issued a strong wind warning for the city in the early afternoon, the same time as the festival.

Police in the city have launched an investigation into the kite crash on suspicion of professional negligence.

Kite festivals like the one held Monday are fairly common in Japan, according to AFP. Eight people were injured in a similar accident in 2004 when a 2,000 pound kite crashed into a crowd in Tokyo.

In March, a 5-year-old boy in Vietnam was killed when his leg got tangled in one of the giant kites and it pulled him more than 60 feet in the air before the string of the kite broke and he plummeted to the ground.

The boy, Van Minh Dat, was helping his mother sell drinks at one of the kite festivals in Ho Chi Minh. He died in an ambulance on the way to the hospital.

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