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article imageFather dies saving his daughter from winter storm

By Abigail Prendergast     Mar 4, 2013 in World
Tokyo - A highly doting father froze to death in order to save his only child from perishing in a winter storm in northern Japan. Mikio Okada did what he could to keep his 9-year-old daughter, Natsune, from succumbing to the cold. Sadly, it cost Mikio his life.
As a blizzard with winds reaching 109 kph (roughly 68 mph) and temperatures hit as low as 6 degrees Celsius (almost 43 degrees Fahrenheit) below zero swept over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido over this past weekend, at least nine people perished from snow- and cold-borne incidents.
According to ABC News Australia, one of those who died happened to be Mikio Okada, who ultimately succumbed to the incliment weather while protecting his daughter and only child, 9-year-old Natsune.
Okada-san had last been heard from at 4:00 pm local time after he picked up Natsune from a program where she was being cared for while he was working on Saturday. Natune's mother had passed away two years ago due to "an unspecified illness."
He called family members in order to inform them that his truck had gotten stuck in snow as he was driving. Newspapers had reported that the vehicle "was several meters deep in some places."
He told them that he and Natsune would make an effort to brave the cold and walk for the last leg of their journey to their destination. But they were found only 300 meters (just over 984 feet) from the truck where Okada-san had reportedly been discovered "cradling [Natsune] in his arms and apparently using his body and a warehouse wall to provide shelter [for her]."
The Manila Times quotes the same publication, the Yomiuri Shimbun, as reporting Okada-san giving his young daughter the jacket he was wearing to keep her warm. The paper noted how rescuers said Natsune "was weeping weakly in [her father's] arms."
While Natsune "was found to have no serious injuries," her father was pronounced dead at a hospital near their home in Yubetsu on Hokkaido.
The Yomiuri shimbun had also quoted Okada-san's neighbors who said he was a very devoted father who would even "delay the start of his working day to enjoy breakfast with his daughter," the Manila Times writes.
More about Japan, Winter storm, Blizzard, hokkaido, mikio okada
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