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Thread: Train derails in Hyogo prefecture killing at least 49 people

  1. #1
    Twirling dragon Maciamo's Avatar
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    Train derails in Hyogo prefecture killing at least 49 people

    BBC News : Japanese train crash kills dozens

    Quote Originally Posted by BBC
    A train has derailed and hit a building in Japan, killing 49 people and injuring about 300 in Japan's worst rail crash in four decades.
    The commuter train came off the tracks at Amagasaki near Osaka, 410km (255 miles) west of Tokyo, and one carriage rammed into a building.

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  2. #2
    ژ^ Index's Avatar
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    Bad news. They say the driver on one of the trains only had eleven months driving experience and had been reported for over-shooting a station once.

  3. #3
    JSPS Ikyoto's Avatar
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    The images on TV are disturbing, but I've always hated the use of TV news for tragedy. I hope the families of the dead will at LEAST recieve compensation for the wages their family members will have brought in and the cost of a decient funeral.

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    Banned Mike Cash's Avatar
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    The TV did a public service by reporting the names of all the injured and the hospitals to which they had been transported.

    From what I caught on the television in the break room after work:

    1. The train was doing about 120km/hr on a stretch of track posted for 70km/hr
    2. The first car went into the first floor parking garage of the apartment building. It is so far in there that it is hard to even see it. I didn't notice it until the announcer pointed it out.
    3. The second car went sideways and smashed flat as a pancake against the second floor of the building. You can see the strap handles hanging out the window and down the side of the car. Imagine how you have to smash a car for that to happen.
    4. The third car spun around 180 degrees, end-on-end.

    My understanding of it is that the driver overshot the station at the previous station by three full car lengths. Recall all the times you've ridden the trains and been amazed at how they manage to stop the thing with the doors almost precisely aligned with the queueing marks on the platform. Reportedly, he was running a minute and a half behind schedule.

    Pure conjecture here, but I can't imagine that a guy like that just started driving crappily today. If there is a past history of this, his superiors will come under intense scrutiny for allowing him to continue working without retraining and for putting him on that semi-express train. At any rate, he obviously had no business driving it.

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    Villain Iron Chef's Avatar
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    Pretty nasty wreck. Japan has one of the safest mass transit systems in the world imho. It's looking more and more like the operator's action (or lack of) and incompetence has a high degree of blame for this incident. Condolences to family and friends if any of our members know someone involved.

  6. #6
    ژ^ Index's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikecash

    Pure conjecture here, but I can't imagine that a guy like that just started driving crappily today. If there is a past history of this, his superiors will come under intense scrutiny for allowing him to continue working without retraining and for putting him on that semi-express train. At any rate, he obviously had no business driving it.
    That's exactly what I thought. Just hope that there is an honest inquiry into it. This reminds me of the wierd would-be train conductors you sometimes see at train stations; they act like conductors but clearly are not

  7. #7
    Chukchi Salmon lexico's Avatar
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    Unhappy Yet another safety related accident

    Quote Originally Posted by Ollie
    any foreigner living in Japan...will tell you what a godsend the train system is over here; punctual to the minute, and very rarely late.
    Quote Originally Posted by Once Survivor
    The train overran a stop at the previous station and so it backtracked, so I guess the driver was in a hurry because the train was running late.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ken Yasumoto-Nicolson
    Thinking about it, once or twice I have felt the train a bit fast around that area, perhaps because the next stop, Amagasaki, is a rather busy station (8 platforms), so quite often if the train is only just a minute late during the rush hour, it can miss its slot resulting in a 5-10 minute delay waiting for a new slot. There seems to be some suspicions in this case that that was perhaps a cause of the speeding.
    If these observations are true, then the accident is more due to the extreme unwillingness to accept a mistake in the past and accept the consequences . Anybody who's driven long distance on a tight schedule will know how hard it is to make up for lost time. My rule of thumb says I have to speed up 25% or more to make up for a 10% time loss. Maybe these proverbs can help ease people's tenseness about being late.

    "Better late than never."
    "Better late & alive than dead & punctual."
    "Accept who you are."
    "Shi* happens."
    "Who cares ?"

    I see the same mindset that has caused other weird behavior such as denying one's past action; but I too have made mistakes of similar nature. 30 min late, take a short cut, 2 hour late or get lost forever ! Stupid is as stupid does ! Just admit I'm a lazy person and things would have turned out 1,000 times better. Likewise, an incompetent-or-absent-minded driver is better than incompetent-&-too-sensitive-to-take-cricicism-&-derailing driver.

    "I accept that I am a bit incompetent. I accept the criticism with ease. By being late, at least I didn't kill you. And my mother and girlfriend still think I'm cute."

    Something's not being taught in school. This accident should go into every textbook of civics &/or history. At least the railway service people (plus amusement park people) should get some safety training in pre-hazard management.
    Z: The fish in the water are happy.
    H: How do you know ? You're not fish.
    Z: How do you know I don't ? You're not me.
    H: True I am not you, and I cannot know. Likewise, I know you're not, therefore I know you don't.
    Z: You asked me how I knew implying you knew I knew. In fact I saw some fish, strolling down by the Hao River, all jolly and gay.

    --Zhuangzi

  8. #8
    Banned Mike Cash's Avatar
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    A proverb that overly pushed long distance truck drivers sometimes tell their dispatchers in regard to a "hot load" (meaning: one that shipped late but they want it there on time anyway)

    "That hot load is going to cool off mighty quick in the ditch"

  9. #9
    Junior Member DoctorP's Avatar
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    Definitely a tragedy...and there really is no doubt in my mind that the conductor is at fault. What needs to be addressed, is was he under pressure from Supervisor's to get the train back on schedule? (it appears as though the train was running behind schedule!) IF this is the case, then more people are to blame for this accident as well! One thing to remember...if one train is late, it will cause other trains on the same track to be late as well, thus there was probably much pressure from his supervisors to get the train back on time. I have been in the control room for the shinkansen and let me tell you that it is a very stressfull environment for these guys to work in. (the controllers that is)

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    Banned Mike Cash's Avatar
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    Do you mean the conductor? Or the driver?

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    Junior Member DoctorP's Avatar
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    ummm driver! my bad~

  12. #12
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    There's always the pros and cons of railway privatizations. British railways faced the same problem. 73 dead and 441 injured as of today. Condolences.

  13. #13
    Banned Mike Cash's Avatar
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    I wish you would elaborate on what way you think the privatization of JNR may have been a contributing factor in this. After all, the privatization happened quite a while ago and they have run untold tens of thousands of trains without incidents even remotely approaching this. And also remember that even when JR was JNR there were also quite a number of private lines, just as there are today.

  14. #14
    Junior Member DoctorP's Avatar
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    I was told of another derailment today, but only one person injured...did anyone else hear anything about it?

  15. #15
    Banned Mike Cash's Avatar
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    Yes, it was somewhere in Ibaraki Prefecture, I believe. This one was caused by a conflict of interest. A truck was interested in crossing the tracks at the same time a train was interested in traveling down them.

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    romantic bisounen fool.. geist_seig's Avatar
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    That just really sucks, at least it better then choaking to death a marshmellow..while some freind is recording it..

    there is evil around every corner becareful not to step in any..

  17. #17
    Banned Mike Cash's Avatar
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    Look for the total number of dead to continue to rise:

    http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20...00014-yom-soci

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    Pink Lady's Number #1 Fan Flashjeff's Avatar
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    The news about the crash in Japan is big news here in the States. A sad incident indeed as the death toll continues to rise. As someone who loves riding trains and rides them daily to and from work, this hits me hard. Any word about the driver? Has he been found, or is he among the dead? If he's alive, I can't imagine the emotional torment he's going through, causing a catastrophe that cost so many lives. If that disaster had happened here in the U.S. and the driver survived, he'd already be lawyered up, in hiding and, having his mouthpiece loudly blaming the crash on everything except his client. My thoughts go out to the families of the victims and the survivors.
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  19. #19
    Banned Mike Cash's Avatar
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    I just looked through the news on Yahoo, and I've tuned in NHK radio news several times today. I don't see anything about the driver. I did hear that after the first car ran into the parking garage it came to a stop by slamming into a wall. Between the telephone pole, the cars, the wall, his position in the train, and the lack of a seatbelt, my guess is that he is dead.

  20. #20
    Where I'm Supposed to Be kirei_na_me's Avatar
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    I was wondering the same thing about the driver, but after watching NHK and reading reports, my husband said that he is still alive and in the hospital?

    Does anyone know for sure?
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  21. #21
    Banned Mike Cash's Avatar
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    Yesterday they were reporting him as d. Given the "they don't say Hanes until I say they say Hanes" approach to declarations of death here (you're not dead until a doctor says so, especially with regard to media reports) it may be that he has been spotted in the train but not yet removed and officially pronounced dead. Or he may be alive and in the hospital.

    How much you wanna bet they don't release the name of the hospital? The names of the hospitals the injured were transported to was released and put up on television, which was a good thing. I saw a report today that at least once people were hauled to the hospital by truck. In the hours immediately following the accident they had already announced the names of 239 injured passengers and the hospitals to which they had been taken. Of course, there's no way the ambulance service alone could handle that.

  22. #22
    Banned Mike Cash's Avatar
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    Every day at work, as I observe others driving around me, several times I will remark to myself "There's no shortage of idiots in the world."

    Check out this idiot:

    http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20...00169-mai-soci

  23. #23
    Banned Mike Cash's Avatar
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    Just found this:

    http://headlines.yahoo.co.jp/hl?a=20...00000-san-soci

    According to the last sentence, a dead body wearing a train driver's uniform was found in the first car. Police are trying to figure out if it was Takami or not. Gotta love their thoroughness.

  24. #24
    JREF Resident Alien Pachipro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kirei_na_me
    I was wondering the same thing about the driver, but after watching NHK and reading reports, my husband said that he is still alive and in the hospital?

    Does anyone know for sure?
    I couldn't find out on any Japanese sites either. However, I did hear on Fox news about 30 min ago that they did find the driver and he was dead. However, he was so badly mangled that they have to do an autopsy to confirm that it is him.

    It's also reported that the train was going 108km/hr around that curve when he should've been going 70! A few survivors interviewed said there was no emergency braking before impact.

    I just saw that Mike had posted the info while I was typing this.
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  25. #25
    Where I'm Supposed to Be kirei_na_me's Avatar
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    Thank you both for clearing that up. I have been wondering about the driver ever since it happened.

    By the way, is a 23 year old driver common? It just seems that's a little young for operating something like that?

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