One person died and at least 34 were injured after a truck and an express train carrying about 500 people collided in Japan’s second-largest city of Yokohama on Thursday (Sep 5).
Three of the train’s eight carriages were derailed, after the impact with a truck carrying fruit, on the busy Tokyo to Yokohama line. The accident, halted services on a busy rail link to the capital Tokyo.
Emergency crews dealt with 30 injured people. Of those, two had sustained serious injuries. Of those severely injured, the hospital has confirmed the death of the 60-year-old truck driver,” a fire department official told reporters at the scene.
The truck, carrying fruit, was crushed between the train and a wall and caught fire immediately after impact. The train appears to have been travelling at its design speed of 120 km/hrs
“The sound of glass breaking was incredible,” one passenger told national broadcaster NHK. “By the time I knew what had happened, the carriage was all smashed up.”
According to the Keikyu train company operating the service, the driver said he had applied the emergency brake but was too late to prevent the collision.
Authorities, including the transport ministry, said they were investigating the cause but were unable to provide further details.
Eyewitnesses spoke of a fierce fire and panic, with TV images showing terrified passengers streaming from the carriages after the collision.
The accident, which halted trains on the commuter line, happened near a station used by more than 19,000 people every day, the train operator said. There was no word on when services might resume.
Japanese trains have a well-deserved reputation for safety and punctuality and accidents are rare.