Train Derails in Western Japan

16 Dead as Japanese Train Derails (CNN)

A commuter train has derailed and ploughed into an apartment building at a railway crossing in western Japan on Monday, killing at least 16 people and injuring some 200 others, police say.

The cause of the accident is under investigation.

The seven-car commuter train operated by West Japan Railway Co also hit an automobile at the crossing near Amagasaki, about 400 kilometers (250 miles) west of Tokyo, but it was not immediately clear if the car was hit before or after the derailment.

Japan Train Derails, Some Deaths Reported (Reuters)

A commuter train derailed and smashed into an apartment building in western Japan on Monday, killing some people and injuring many others, police and media said.

Kyodo news agency said up to 50 people had been hurt while public broadcaster NHK said about 20 people had been taken to hospital, including six who were seriously injured.

Others were trapped inside the train cars, calling for help, NHK reported.

Police confirmed that there had been some deaths but could not say how many.

The accident occurred near the city of Osaka, about 310 miles west of Tokyo.

Japan Train Derailment Kills 25 (BBC)

A train has derailed and hit a building in western Japan, killing 25 people and injuring about 200 in the country’s worst rail crash for 14 years.

The commuter train came off the tracks in Hyogo prefecture near Osaka, 400km (310 miles) of Tokyo, and rammed into a building at about 0920 (0020GMT).

The train hit a car at a level crossing, but it was unclear whether that was before or after it derailed.

Survivors said the train seemed to be going too fast and started shaking.

Railway officials said the train had overshot the stop line at the last station before it crashed.

“There are many theories but we don’t know for sure what caused the accident,” said Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroyuki Hosoda.

My condolences to the victims’ families and loved ones. If there’s a silver lining to this tragedy, perhaps it’s the fact that there doesn’t seem to be any terrorist links.

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Robert Garcia Tagorda
About Robert Garcia Tagorda
Robert blogged prolifically at OTB from November 2004 to August 2005, when career demands took him in a different direction. He graduated summa cum laude from Claremont McKenna College with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics and earned his Master in Public Policy from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.