Japan Train Crash

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by nolatron, Apr 25, 2005.

  1. nolatron

    nolatron Member

    Train derails in West Japan, Kills 50

    Just saw this on yahoo.


    Train Derails in West Japan, Killing 50

    30 minutes ago

    [size=-1]By KOJI SASAHARA, Associated Press Writer[/size]

    AMAGASAKI, Japan - [size=-1] A packed commuter train jumped the tracks in western Japan on Monday and rammed into an apartment complex, crumpling passenger cars into twisted metal. At least 50 people were killed and 340 injured in the deadliest rail accident here in four decades. [/size]

    AP Photo
    Reuters [​IMG] Slideshow: Train Derails in Japan, Dozens Dead
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    [size=-1] Investigators immediately focused on whether excessive speed or the actions of the inexperienced driver caused the crash in an urban area near Amagasaki, about 250 miles west of Tokyo. The 23-year-old driver had overshot the stop line at the last station before the accident. [/size]

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    [size=-1] Rescuers were trying to free four people found alive in the wreckage more than nine hours after the crash, said Yoshiki Nishiyama of the Amagasaki fire department. They were trapped in one of the two worst-damaged cars, but their conditions were unknown. [/size]

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    [size=-1] The seven-car commuter train was carrying 580 passengers when it derailed at 9:18 a.m., wrecking an automobile in its path before slamming into a nine-story apartment complex just yards away. Two of the five derailed cars were flattened against the wall of the building, and hundreds of rescue workers and police swarmed the wreckage and tended to the injured. [/size]

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    [size=-1] "There was a violent shaking, and the next moment I was thrown to the floor ... and I landed on top of a pile of other people," passenger Tatsuya Akashi told NHK. "I didn't know what happened, and there were many people bleeding." [/size]

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    [size=-1] The Amagasaki Fire Department said at least 50 people were killed. It was not clear how many of the dead were passengers or if bystanders or apartment residents were among the victims. Train operator West Japan Railway Co. said at least 343 people had been taken to hospitals. [/size]

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    [size=-1] The accident was the worst rail disaster in nearly 42 years in Japan, which is home to one of the world's most complex and heavily traveled rail networks. A three-train crash in November 1963 killed 161 people in Tsurumi, outside Tokyo. [/size]

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    [size=-1] Monday's accident was under investigation. "There are many theories but we don't know for sure what caused the accident," Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda said. "The prime minister instructed us to respond with urgency." [/size]

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    [size=-1] Survivors said the force of the derailment sent passengers tumbling through the inside of the cars. Photos taken by an NHK reporter aboard the train showed passengers piled on the floor and some clawing to escape from the busted shells of the cars. The derailed train cars had smashed into the first-floor parking garage of the apartment complex, NHK said. [/size]

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    [size=-1] Investigators struggled to come up with reasons for the crash. Tsunemi Murakami, the train operator's safety director, estimated that the train would have had to have been going 82 mph to have jumped the track purely because of excessive speed. [/size]

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    [size=-1] He said it still was not certain how fast the train was running at the time of the accident. The crash happened at a curve after a straightaway, requiring the driver to slow to a speed of 43 mph, Murakami said. [/size]

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    [size=-1] Experts also suspected speed was to blame. [/size]

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    [size=-1] "If the train hadn't hit anything before derailing ... the train was probably speeding. For the train to flip, it had to be traveling at a high speed. I would say it was going 50 kph (31 mph) above the speed limit," Kazuhiko Nagase, a Kanazawa Institute of Technology professor and train expert, told NHK. [/size]

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    [size=-1] The train operator apologized. [/size]

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    [size=-1] "Our most important task now is to rescue the passengers from the accident and we are doing our best," West Japan Railway Co. President Takeshi Kakiuchi told reporters. [/size]

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    [size=-1] NHK reported that the automatic braking system at that stretch of track is among the oldest in Japan. The system stops trains at signs of trouble without requiring drivers to take emergency action, but the older system is less effective in halting trains traveling at high speeds, NHK said. [/size]

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    [size=-1] The driver's inexperience may also have been a factor. He only had 11 months on the job. He had committed a previous overrun at a station in June 2004 and was issued a warning, officials said. [/size]

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    [size=-1] Authorities mobilized for a speedy rescue. The central government in Tokyo dispatched Self-Defense Force soldiers to the disaster scene to assist. [/size]

    [size=-1]Deadly train accidents are rare in Japan. Five people were killed and 33 were injured in March 2000, when a Tokyo subway hit a derailed train. An accident killed 42 people in April 1991 in Shigaraki, western Japan. [/size]

  2. Chessie6459

    Chessie6459 Gauge Oldtimer

    WOW :eek: That is really sad what had happened. People should be move careful when coming upon a Grade Crossing whether or not the Grade Crossing is in operation or not. You may never know when a train could be coming down that line.
  3. Matthyro

    Matthyro Will always be re-membered

    What makes a driver with that much responsibility behave the way he did. A sad day for many.
  4. trainwhiz20

    trainwhiz20 Member

    Uh oh.

    In case you don't keep up with world news, a commuter train derailed during rush hour in Japan and slammed into an apartment building. It's supposedly the worst rail crash in four decades in the country. The train derailed in Osaka (central Japan), about 250 miles outside Tokyo, believed to have been traveling at at least 83 miles and hour to leave the tracks.

    The story is on CNN.com here: http://www.cnn.com/2005/WORLD/asiapcf/04/25/japan.rail.crash/index.html

    My heart goes out to those involved in the terrible tradgedy. God bless.

    Hopefully, Japan Rail West isn't at fault, nor the crew. I'm sure we'll find out.

    Stay safe....

    (The scary thing is I was engineering this route the other day on Microsoft Train Sim, same car type and consist too, and I derailed. Coincidence? :eek: )

    EDIT: Oops. Sorry I didn't see the thread in The Real Thing--International. My fault. Sorry guys. Feel free to delete this post if necessary. (You guys are much quicker at picking things up than I am!)
  5. interurban

    interurban Active Member

    Thanks for the link,
    A very Sad day in Japan!! :( :( :( :( :(
  6. Ralph

    Ralph Remember...it's for fun!

    A very sad story.
  7. rcline

    rcline Member

    It is a sad thing to happen, from what I saw on the news, the engineer was only 23-25 years of age. my thought is, just how much experience can that young of man have to be running a super train like that? From what I saw on the news, two of the cars were flattened like pancakes!! I never thought that the cars could be flattened to only (what looked like) two feet wide.
  8. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    A terrible disaster. Our hearts go out to the victims and their families.


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