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Page first written 24 July 2003
Last updated 24 July 2003
Limited Express "Kamome" derails
A limited express train derailed in Kyushu after it hit a rock weighing 130 kilograms which lay in the track, the reports say. The accident happened on 18 July at 21:45 Japanese local time, on JR Kyushu's Nagasaki Main Line between Hizen-nagata and Oe stations. The Limited Express "Kamome 46" from Nagasaki to Fukuoka Hakata, with six-car formation, probably of Series 885 tilting emus, was running at approx. 90 km/h when it hit the stone and came off the track. Three out of six cars in front were derailed. The leading one was overturned and subsequently smashed right into the rice field along the track, severely broken. The second car also left the track significantly. 33 were injured, including the driver who suffered the fracture. It was very fortunate that no deaths were recorded. It was presumed that the rock came into the track after the severe rainfall moved it, which was originally on the slope along the track. The slope was not steep and the section was not considered as "needs precaution". The rainfall in Kyushu at the time of the accident was so severe that many died in mud floods, which in my opinion suggests that the railway operator should be accused of inproper safety management; however, JR Kyushu decided to check all the trackside slopes as precautions against similar incidents.
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TAKAGI, Ryo firstname.lastname@example.org (c) R. Takagi 2003. All rights reserved.