Japan’s worst railroad accident in more than40 years left over 50 dead and 100’s more injured
The seven-car express train carrying nearly 600 commuters derailed near Kobe. It hit a car and then the train crashed into a highrise building.
Hours after this massive train accident, hundreds were still trapped and waiting to be pulled from the crumpled train wreckage.
The injured poured into hospitals in Kobe and surrounding areas. Some were treated at a makeshift trauma center set up in a tent at the scene. A shortage of stretchers even led rescue workers to use train seats to carry the injured.
During the train wreck, four of the train cars overturned with the first two wrapped around the corner of the apartment building. Japan’s Transportation Ministry has established a crisis management headquarters to deal with the incident. The railway’s president, Takeshi Kakiuchi, said the first priority is to rescue those who are trapped. Some of the victims stated that the train may have been traveling too fast.
Japan has one of the world’s sophisticated rail network, but at the same time it is very congested. Japans railroads have a great safety record.
This is the worst train crash since the train wreck of Tokyo in 1963 that killed 161 people.
More about this horrific train accident may be found here
Transportation Minister Kazuo Kitagawa indicated the government would order a review the way it operates after it completes its investigation into the accident.
“The driver had only 11 months of experience…” Kitagawa said in Parliament.
“I would like to issue instructions to them based on the results of our investigation.”