42 injured after bus falls off road onto train tracks in Oita


A bus crashed through the guardrail on an expressway and fell onto train tracks below, injuring 42 passengers, in Kokonoe, Oita Prefecture, on Sunday evening.

According to police, the bus, operated by Johoku Kotsu, was carrying 43 passengers and a driver home from a one-day skiing tour to Fukuoka Prefecture when the incident occurred just before 6 p.m.

TBS reported that the bus crashed through a guardrail and fell nearly three meters onto the JR Kyudai line below. No trains were in the vicinity at the time, JR said. Services were suspended for the rest of the night until the bus could be removed from the tracks, police said.

According to police, of the 44 people on board, 40 sustained minor injuries, while the injuries of the 63-year-old driver and a 27-year-old woman were considered serious. Police quoted the bus driver as saying that the brakes didn't work, TBS reported.

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Slippery roads?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Thank god there were no trains heading there at the time! This could have been a whole lot worse.

6 ( +8 / -2 )

63-year-old driver

Anyone else think this is a good idea?

-17 ( +1 / -18 )

Glad to know nobody got killed from the bus crash or train below. This certainly could have been a very bad ending for this terrible event.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Anyone else think this is a good idea?

I think it is a bad idea to make judgements based solely on age.

14 ( +16 / -1 )

That's scary. All day skiing and the most adrenaline shoot up during the bus ride!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

63old...driving a huge bus at night? Definitely a bad idea!

-16 ( +0 / -16 )

Did some of you read the story? "Police quoted the bus driver as saying that the brakes didn’t work" And wait till you are 63 and see if you are too old.

15 ( +14 / -0 )

Hope everyone recovers quickly!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Scary, can you imagine if a train would came around.... I'm happy no one died. Terrible situation to be in. Feel bad for these people. Hope they all make a speedy recovery.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

This is awful - and becoming far too common for my liking. That dreadful bus fatality was only a couple of months ago. Let's just hope the safety standards are not slipping too far.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yikes! Amazing that no one was killed. That must have been quite a drop. I always wear a seatbelt on a bus, but I think I'm in the minority. I wonder if the passengers were mostly belted to their seats or if they hit the luggage racks and then slammed back down. Oooh. I had to think about it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Just reading another post about folks driving with improper licenses and this driver was properly licensed. Something is not right here me thinks.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

(I hate to think about it)

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Considering this was a train track, I say they were lucky. Imagine trains had been running at the time...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Brakes didn't work? I bet the brakes are fine when they are checked. My money's on the driver having dozed off.

-5 ( +0 / -5 )

On the news programme I watched (which was on TBS), they showed some passengers saying that the driver was screaming about the brakes. Unless they were all lying to cover up for him for some reason, there was an actual problem with the brakes. In addition to that, they were on a slope heading towards a t-junction, hardly the kind of boring stretch of road you'd usually associate with dozing off.

I'm surprised there's no image to go with this article. News cameras were on the scene fairly quickly it seemed.

6 ( +5 / -0 )

he probably confused brakes with gaz like all old people do... yes 63 is too old to drive! seen enough of those on the roads...they can hardly find their glasses

-8 ( +1 / -8 )

I would rather have 70 year old behind the wheel than a 17 year old. Age is not an issue if commercial drivers are tested in Japan as in other countries its not a problem. Experience and knowledge count as much as reflexes but young and dumb panick.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Looks like it was late enough in the day that the pictures didn't show too much, but here are the stories in a few local papers.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Waltery - 17 year olds cant drive here - commercial drivers are not tested in Japan

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Age is not a factor here. Seems to be mechanical In nature. The bus will go under inspection to see if the brakes were defective or not.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I saw on TV news this morning that claim hydraulic oil in the braking system may have overheated causing brake fading. They even showed a nifty animated computer graphic diagram. Based on the newsreels I've been seeing this looks like a very large bus. Most large buses use air for braking, no? Air brake systems are failsafe. A loss of compressed air would cause the brakes to activate. Could still be a braking problem but not a hydraulic issue. Hard to believe a vehicle of this weight/size having hydraulic brakes.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

A passenger heard him muttering "oooooohhhh..... no brakes... it won't go into gear!" as the bus gained speed going down the curvy slope. It hit the guardrail at one point, before bouncing over the road onto the tracks below. A truck driver following said the bus seemed to gain speed through the corners, and the he noticed the bus's emergency flashers were going.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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