Photo/IllutrationFirefighters at the scene of another collision (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

KASUMIGAURA, Ibaraki Prefecture--Rescuers failed to spot a badly injured woman in the front passenger seat of a wrecked car for six and a half hours, by which time it was too late to save her life.

The elderly woman was only discovered after the car arrived at Tsuchiura Police Station.

She was rushed to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

According to police and the fire department, the mini-car with her 74-year-old husband Tadaaki Hirose at the wheel collided head-on with a passenger car driven by a 19-year-old carpenter in Kasumigaura, Ibaraki Prefecture, around 4:15 a.m. on Aug. 25.

Hirose, who was from Hokota in the prefecture, was immediately transferred to a hospital, where he was confirmed to be dead. His wife Taeko, 75, was in the front passenger seat.

The hood and the door around the front passenger seat were severely buckled in the collision, and luggage was strewn there, which probably stopped firefighters from noticing her.

Kasumigaura Mayor Toru Tsuboi expressed his sorrow that the injured woman was not discovered earlier and vowed to investigate the matter in detail to prevent a recurrence.