A car slammed into a group of 16 mostly kindergarten children who were strolling on a footpath in the lakeside city of Otsu in western Japan, leaving two dead, police said Wednesday.

The accident occurred in the morning after the compact car bumped into another passenger car at an intersection and veered off to the sidewalk, Shiga prefectural police said.

The children aged 2 to 3 were escorted by three teachers.

A girl and a boy, both 2 years old, were pronounced dead after they were rushed to a hospital, police said.

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Police investigate the site where a car slammed into a group of 16 people. Photo / AP
Police investigate the site where a car slammed into a group of 16 people. Photo / AP
The car slammed into a group of 16 people, mostly kindergarten children. Photo / AP
The car slammed into a group of 16 people, mostly kindergarten children. Photo / AP

It was not clear whether they were among the four children police earlier said were left unconscious by the impact.

Conditions of others in the group were not immediately known.

The drivers, a 62-year-old woman in the compact car and a 52-year-old woman in the other vehicle, were arrested on the spot for alleged negligence, police said.

In Japan children usually walk to school in groups.