A train derailed in northern Japan after colliding with a truck on Thursday, leaving dozens injured including nine high school students on their way to their graduation ceremony, officials said.
The one-car passenger train collided with the 11 metric ton (12 ton) tractor trailer truck carrying a load of logs at a crossing in Bihoro town, said JR Hokkaido, the train operator, in a statement. The train was derailed but did not overturn, it said.
News footage of the scene showed the train smashed into the truck's side with logs thrown in all directions like toothpicks.
Forty-four people were injured, JR Hokkaido official Keita Yamaguchi said. Among them, three were seriously hurt, including the train's driver, he said.
There were about 70 passengers on the train at the time of the accident and nearly 40 scheduled runs have been canceled, JR Hokkaido said in a separate statement.
The commuter train was believed to have been traveling at about 60 kilometers (37 miles) per hour, according to Daisuke Yoshikawa, another JR Hokkaido official, the AP reports.
Police later arrested the 45-year-old driver of the truck, according to Hokkaido police official Susumu Yoshiizumi.
The truck driver told investigators he braked only after realizing the crossing gate was down and couldn't stop in time, Kyodo News agency reported.
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