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2-year-old boy falls onto tracks at Nagoya Station

51 Comments

A two-year-old boy fell into the gap between a bullet train and the platform at Nagoya Station on Tuesday morning. According to a press statement by Central Japan Railway Company (JR Tokai), the boy was walking with his family and attempting to board the Tokyo-bound train when he fell into the gap between the train, which was stopped, and the platform. The gap measured around 10-15 centimeters.

Station staff were alerted and the boy was recovered. He sustained grazes but no serious injuries, JR Tokai officials said. The rail operator said that around 10 Tokaido Line trains were delayed for 10-20 minutes as a result of the incident, affecting around 9,000 passengers.

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51 Comments
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What kind of idiot parent lets his toddler fall into the gap at a train door??

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

This does not look good for the parents. I'm glad he was okay, though.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

What kind of idiot parent lets his toddler fall into the gap at a train door??

$100 says they were just letting him run around like a wild animal.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

WilliB, makimoto and Asy Asyy.

The article says that the family was attempting to board the train. It is most likely that the Two-year old misjudged the 10-15 Centimeter gap between station and platform. This wasn't negligence. It was an accident.

4 ( +8 / -3 )

the same parent and child riding their bike together and no child helmet. they just don't care about safety.

-5 ( +3 / -7 )

You should always hold a toddlers hand when boarding a train seeing as how these negligent parents wern't they should be charged with endangering a minor. OR CHILD ABUSE.

-9 ( +2 / -10 )

While attempting to board, a competent parent holds the toddler's hand and if the child misjudges the distance, he doesn't fall onto the tracks.

Also, if my toddler fell on to the tracks, I would be down on my belly grabbing him with my hand - not waiting 10 - 20 minutes waiting for 'staff' to be alerted. But I suppose if staff wasn't alerted, the train would depart, killing us both.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

SRowan - hogwash. Common sense is to hold on to a 2 year-old's hand especially if there's a 15cm gap (and I'll bet it's even bigger). Absolute crap parenting here.

-4 ( +4 / -7 )

Another parenting fail in Japan. A 'normal' parent would at least be holding a two year old's hand.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Everyone is quick to jump on board the "parental negligence" train, when many things are often accidents. There is not enough information in this article to call it one way or another. The parents could have been holding the boys hand, but maybe not strongly enough to keep the child from falling through. Hindsight is 100%, and I am sure they were more cautious getting off the train.

@borsht the trains were delayed 10-20 minutes, NOT the parents waiting for staff.

3 ( +6 / -3 )

Of course a parne twould hold a childs hand. but that doesnt mean that the child can't make a mistake. The article even says that the child was walking with his family. His parents supervision is implied.

You are looking too far into this.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Namabiru - Nice try, but no cupie doll. This kind of incident is 100% preventable, which means it is the result of carelessness and not an accident.

On a similar note: Many of the trains stations in Tokyo have signs in the elevators telling people to park wheelchairs parallel to the track and not at a right-angle, but I always see parents with their prams facing the tracks and many times in front of the yellow line and unattended. The many gods of Shintoism must be very powerful cos they are the only thing keeping many kids alive in Japan.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

They probably drive around with the little toddler climbing all over the seats without wearing a seatbelt. Basic common sense (which is lacking nationwide) would have prevented this accident from happening.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

SRowan:

" This wasn't negligence. It was an accident. "

"Accident"?? Come on. Not holding the hand (at least) of a toddler when boarding a train is not an "accident" by any definition.

-4 ( +1 / -5 )

I have boarded and disembarked trains, buses and shinkansen many times with my 3 little ones, and the physics is really very simple - if you are holding a childs hand firmly (and certainly if you are helping them on) they DONT fall through the gap. Period. Unless you are too feeble to hold a 2 year old ( which 99% of parents and most grandparents are not) or your hand is sticky or slippery in some way (in which case hold them by the waist instead and lift them on) it just doesnt happen.

Sorry to be a know-it-all parent, and I am not saying for a second I am a perfect parent myself, but this accident was just so utterly preventable.

Unless any of the above applies and the adult holding the childs hand was weak or compromised in some way, then this is negligence IMHO.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I have been to Nagoya many times,and the station itself, although pretty nice otherwise, is an accident waiting to happen. I myself was always afraid not to fall into that hole between the platform and the train,especially when there was some anxious oyaji or pushy obasan behind me.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Those of you who have kids will know that it's not always possible to hold your childs hand, even when boarding a train. Stop to weigh up the possibilities here a litte. Maybe there was only one parent, maybe he/she had heavy bags and likey a babycar to carry on, or maybe there were other kids too. Maybe the child was holding the parent's hand and when she/he sliped into the crack the parent lost grip.

You guys are so quick to judge other peoples lives, and making up some story like they let their child jump around in the car..? come on.. how could you possibly know all this?

Spare a thought for the parent. If that were my kid I would have been terrified and shocked. I'm sure that the parents of this child feel pretty horrible about what happened and probably do blame themselves. Truth is, some of the gaps in the stations between the car and the platform are quite wide in places.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

Those of you who have kids will know that it's not always possible to hold your childs hand, even when boarding a train. Stop to weigh up the possibilities here a litte. Maybe there was only one parent, maybe he/she had heavy bags and likey a babycar to carry on, or maybe there were other kids too

When it comes to a dangerous situation - yes, it absolutely is possible. Safety should come before anything else. For example I travelled alone with 3 children and 2 suitcases to Osaka from Tokyo on the shinkansen. The baby was strapped into his baby car. I had one hand on the pushchair and with the other hand helped my 7 year old in. Then when she was inside she waited and I took my 5 year olds hand and helped him in. Then they stepped back so I could load up the pushchair, and finally I loaded up the two suitcases sitting next to the train on the platform and we all headed for our seats. My 7 year old pulled the smaller case on wheels, and I pushed the pushchair with one hand and pulled the case behind me with the other.

However - you ARE right in that we dont know if the parent was holding the childs hand and simply lost the grip, and we certainly DONT know if they let their kids jump around in the car!!!

I am sure the parent(s) ARE shocked and horrified by what happened, and I do feel sorry for them. I am sure they wont be making that mistake again. But getting on a train with a wide gap is absolutely a place where it is entirely possible and necessary to hold a childs hand. And you CAN do it even if you are alone with 3 4 or even 5 children IF you are thinking about it.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

@borscht - where does it say the parents waited 10~20 minutes to alert staff?

The article said, "Station staff were alerted and the boy was recovered. Trains were delayed for 10~20 minutes." That's all.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Who pays for the train delay? Shinkensen is fast and expensive. I am glad the kids OK though. Good job staff.

-4 ( +0 / -3 )

Of course it was an accident, one obviously caused by negligence. There's no point trying to separate the two. Arguing over it it just pointless. Accidents are obviously caused by no other than negligence and/or carelessness. Otherwise, one would have to categorize this an attempt to actually harm the child, and if that were accurate (which I don't think it is) it would just be [well, not rare, but nonetheless] shocking.

Second, as already said, the most critical of posters likely don't have any children of their own, and even if they do, they don't have all the facts. For all we know, there could have been a rush to get on the train, some pushing or shoving, or the child - being a two year old - could very well have been rambunctious or uncooperative.

Let it go. Give the parent a virtual smack in the head, wish them more diligence (or discipline), and just be glad the child wasn't badly hurt or worse.

0 ( +1 / -2 )

The article even says that the child was walking with his family. His parents supervision is implied.

SRowan - that implies that they were there when it happened. Another thing implied is that they failed to properly supervise a 2 year-old in such a potentially dangerous environment. Nothing new in a country where I see parents nonchalantly watch their children run around busy parking lots.

-5 ( +1 / -5 )

To the one who claim its 100% preventable - how you are so sure? How many people with small kids boarded trains this obon season? Few million? And we have 1 case of such accident! That's way too low - even lower than the statistical error! Glad the kid was OK and next time parents will lift him in (holding hand is not 100% safe).

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Hoserfella,

Gotta agree with you. In fact, about ten minutes ago I watched a grown man walk in the opposite direction of his probably 2 year old son for the better part of a minute before looking back and realizing the kid was making a beeline for an intersection.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@ SRowan,

I'm with hoserfella here.

If the parent was holding the kid's hand and somehow lost grip, then that is an accident and I won't fault them.

However if they weren't holding his hand, then that is negligence. I don't care what other circumstances are at play such as luggage or shopping bags etc.. the child's safety should be any parent's first priority.

0 ( +1 / -0 )

The rail operator said that around 10 Tokaido Line trains were delayed for 10-20 minutes as a result of the incident, affecting around 9,000 passengers.

I utterly hate when they report how many people or trains were affected because of this "incident". Like WHO CARES?!! I mean, SERIOUSLY!!!! I'm only interested in the little boy, I don't care how much money they lost.

I'm just glad the baby boy made it....when most don't. (suffer fatal injuries, get struck by incoming train, etc.)

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Surfacing from lurkdom here...please excuse the stinky green slime. This really hit a nerve with me. Saturday, family day out with SexGod ( aka hubby) and kids. As I am pushing the pram along...I am blessed with 3 kiddies....a boy, guessing not 2 yet, staggers across my path and lurches right to the edge of the platform. I managed to grab him and stop him from falling on the tracks. We had to 'look' for his parents....stood chatting in front of a drinks machine chatting. No word of thanks or anything and as we walked off, off ran the little boy again. Infact, as I stood there waiting for the train, the number of small kids unsupervised and running around was astounding. I actually commented to hubby that maybe some parents want their kids to get killed as the lack of care or actual parenting was unnerving. I am sorry to have to say that whenever I hear about stories like this one, I always think derelict parents again. Too busy with their own priorities, talking on the cellphone, with friends or thinking about something else to actually put their kids first. It truly is a blessing to have a child. I always try to give folk the benefit of the doubt but with this kind of story unfortunately, my experiences tell me otherwise. Very sad.

0 ( +2 / -1 )

I see a real lot of misbehaved kids on the platforms, and in stores. It really can be annoying.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It never ceases to amaze me how many people spout off their reactions to stories like this "unencumbered by the facts as they are."

We have very little information to go on.

Mother might have been busy texting to a friend and father swigging chu-hai from a can.

We don't know.

Two year olds are notorious wrigglers.

Who knows what actually happened.

Might I suggest that we find out what exactly happened before we find the parents guilty?

6 ( +6 / -0 )

I can only think from some of the sanctimonuos dammantions of the parents from some posters that they have never had children. I had two girls born within 18 months of each other. Do you think I never had disasters with them? Cathy with her hand stuck to her face with super glue? Was I wrong for not having the glue under lock and key? Char with her arm stuck up a drainpipe? these things happen with kids. A misstep and down between the train and the platform. I can understand these things happen.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

SimondB, I agree 100% and my daughter is still a baby. Who knows what mischief she'll be up to when she can actually walk. Parents literally have to watch their kids 100% of the time which is literally quite impossible.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

I've done this before on the Yamanote line. My whole body didn't slip into the gap, just one leg and I ended up sitting on the train floor with my leg dangling in the gap. The woman behind me screamed and one guy went out to alert the conductor not to close the door. With my family jewels in the path of a soon to be closing door, I can tell you that it took less than a second to stand up with the inside leg and step out of the way. I was thankful to the guy trying to get the conductors attention.

Maybe you can blame my Mum for not holding my hand.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

It's interesting that at stations where there is even a mildly large gap between the train and platform, there are constant announcements about it. This must have been a hell of a gap and yet the parents apparently totally ignored the announcements. I understand that they become so commonplace you don't really pay attention to them anymore, but I try my best to be aware of my surroundings and at least take a passing account of the various announcements and warnings around me. I have to say the Japanese have a tendency not to notice the things that are going on around them. Perhaps there is too much noise saturation in this country.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Yeah...of course, accidents happen but... When you are out somewhere in an open public place...on a platform where blatantly obvious dangers lurk surely it is your job ad a responsible , loving parent to try to ensure accidents don't happen. My first born are twins and believe you me, near roads or on a platform, I held their hands in a death grip. Am I a perfect parent- no! But I see a ton of situations unfolding on an almost daily basis that could have so easily been prevented by some simple application of common sense.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

But I see a ton of situations unfolding on an almost daily basis that could have so easily been prevented by some simple application of common sense.

I really hate say it but the lack of common sense seems to be a cultural trait in our country. -_-;

0 ( +2 / -2 )

exportexpert:

You should always hold a toddlers hand when boarding a train seeing as how these negligent parents wern't they should be charged with endangering a minor. OR CHILD ABUSE

It amazes me how often I see Japanese parents not holding their children's hands when they should, eg when crossing main roads. I've seen plenty who just let their small kids run across the roads. Common sense is thrown out the window when it comes to children using seatbelts too. .

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

The adults in that household need a firm finger wagging and possibly a check-up from the neck up. "the train, which was stopped..." Trying to board a moving train with a child in tow...unfathomable, but the parent in this case leaves doubt. Protect our kids, teach them, discipline them. They do great at the crosswalks from pre-school on so they can learn how to proceed safely on trains, planes, etc., inspite of lousy parenting. Neglect comes to mind.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I am kind of flabbergasted that some people here think one can not blame the parents.

Yes, of course, accidents do happen. But carrying your 2-year old, or AT LEAST holding his hand when boarding a train is common sense, period. There simply is no excuse.

Or if there is one, it should be a formidable one, and we should read about it. Maybe one-armed parents? Two double-arm amputee parents? Even in that case, they should have figured out a safe way to board a train with a two-year old. If there is an excuse for this, I can simply can not imagine it. Help me out.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

You guys are right - the trains were delayed ten, twenty minutes not that the parents waited that time. My mistake.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

This happened to the kid of one of my mates in Osaka on the Kanjōsen. The mum was holding the boy's hand, but there was a gap between the platform and the child took a step and just fell through. Only the hand hold saved his life. He was wedged between and she just barely got him out before the train started. People stepped around them to get on and nobody bothered to raise an alarm.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Amazing this is not more common! Daily 100,000+ parents with little kids get on and off trains.

A parent has two kids and a package--stuff happens. True, there's a bunch of bad parents whose unwatched kids luck-out and avoid harm, but there's also bad things that happen to careful parents.

Glad the kid's ok. (I bet his parents are a lot more cautious from now on.)

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I bet his parents are a lot more cautious from now on.

One can certainly hope.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A lot of you sound like a bunch a tsk tsking old women. Yeah, you're experts. I've got on plenty of trains too with plenty of kids and got them on and off safely.

But accidents happen in a split second. Go to enough hospitals and talk to enough doctors, nurses, parents and ministers who conduct funerals and you'll realize that accidents happen. Yes, you could always say that if someone had done this or that or not done something else that it wouldn't have happened, but that's the same for most of the cuts and bruises and silly things that have happened to you.

The kid is safe, the train didn't go, and hopefully the parents will be much more careful, and so will everyone who heard the story. I don't know why when this kind of things happen people feel better by criticizing the parents. They no doubt feel bad enough by now.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Now I realize I need to delete that post. Having said all that, I saved a 2 yr old from falling on the tracks two weeks ago...

The mother had her back turned and was talking on a keitai. Curious kid had its head and shoulders through the bars of a "safety gate" and was almost through 7 meters in front of a Yamanote train that was getting ready to go!

Picked up the kid, looked for the mother and handed him over to be greeted with a "gomen ne" So, yeah, there ARE crazy parents out there. Now she is the type who needs a lecture. Or a boot in the backside.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think what many people are saying is right - that with hindsight almost all accidents are preventable. BUT - some accidents just cant with reasonable common sense be predicted, and others are so bleeding obvious its not even funny.

The superglue to the face incident and the arm up a drain - these things could not reasonably be predicted. I could add many of my own examples to the list and am sure so could most of the parents here! (Top tip for every parent: towel rails glued to the wall do NOT make good swings!)

But a toddler, getting on a train with a large gap - for most people with any kind of reasonable common sense, THIS is a predictably dangerous situation, and that is the difference for me. Walking along a busy road is another one (and I am also forever seeing toddlers making a beeline for something likely to kill or maim them while Mum/Dad walks 20m ahead chatting or texting). Driving in a car is a third example of where basic safety common sense SHOULD kick in. Saw a kid just yesterday leaping around the seats on a busy main road.

I totally understand that we dont know all the facts in this case, and someone may well have been holding the hand so I am not condemning the parents without knowing all the facts. But to people thinking it is not possible to hold a childs hand - of course it is. Or people thinking this could not have been prevented - of course it could with the basic common sense that most parents have.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

One thing that would help in cases like this, that I've never seen in Japan but that used to be common in England is a kind of safety harness.

I'm sure they have them in other countries too.

It goes around the kid's shoulders and has a lead, so that, in an emergency you could lift a child up without hurting him.

A parent holds the lead while the kid is standing or walking about.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

BlueWitch, there is a lack of common sense in all of the countries. So many people I see are so deleted deleted stupid it makes you want to cry.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Bad Parenting <> accidents, lapses of attention

Bad Parenting = starving or beating your kids

As my little one was walking down the side of our car to get in, hand in mine, a heroic boyfriend tore into the adjacent parking space and nearly killed both of us. Just what should I have done? Climbed on the roof and cut a skylight with a jigsaw?

Anyway, I'm glad the kid is okay. Happy Ending.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

It's tough raising little kids ...then they turn into teenagers..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

One thing that would help in cases like this, that I've never seen in Japan but that used to be common in England is a kind of safety harness.

I noticed that too, and I asked a Japanese about it once. She told me that they are not popular in Japan because the feeling is like they are treating children like dogs. I saw one with a foreigner in a shopping centre about a year ago (t was very cute actually, pink with angel wings on the back!) and I noticed people giving them strange and disapproving looks.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Parents!!! Watch your kids!!! hold their hands when getting on or off vehicles! This is ridiculous. But they should add an automatic plank to the doorway that drops down for handicapable passengers

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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