national

9-year-old girl hit and killed by train on railway crossing

15 Comments

A nine-year-old girl was killed by a passing train at a level crossing Fukuyama, Hiroshima Prefecture, on Thursday.

According to police, the incident occurred at around 3:40 p.m. between Michinoue and Managura stations in Kannabe on the JR Fukuen line, Fuji TV reported. The child, Niko Kato, lived nearby.

No signals or crossing gates are at the railway crossing. According to JR West and police, the train driver noticed Kato had entered onto the tracks and applied the brake, but the train wasn’t able to stop in time.  

No passengers on the train were injured. JR West said services between Fukuyama and Fuchu were temporarily suspended, affecting over 1,200 people.

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15 Comments
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No signals or crossing gates are at the railway crossing. 

Why?

5 ( +7 / -2 )

@Do the hustle

Because we can't baby proof everything

-4 ( +6 / -10 )

Because we can't baby proof everything

Yes, but maybe at least all pedestrian crossings where huge hulks of steel moving at deadly speeds constantly pass isn't asking for the world. It's downright standard almost everywhere else in this country that I have seen.

9 ( +9 / -0 )

It's a big cost for small communities

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

@that person - It's a big cost for small communities

It's a greater cost for the family of the nine year girl, don't you think?

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Heartbreaking.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

You can't put a price on a life! Sheesh.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

While its a terrible loss for the family, the area is pretty rural and most rural areas have unmarked railroad crossings. Especially if it's just a footpath, as a quick look at google maps seems to show.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@disillusioned

While it's a sad and unfortunate event, and I DO feel for the family, I still do not agree that everything should have a gate, barrier and lock on it! It never ends! Each station should have a platform gate, each railroad crossing, a signal and gate... do you have any idea how many there are in all of Japan? It's an incredible number!

If they published that they'd start that as a project tomorrow, and published the total cost, you'd all forget these sad stories and start whining about your tax dollars

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Reading some of those comments above, all I want to say is: I need to throw up.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

While it's a sad and unfortunate event, and I DO feel for the family, I still do not agree that everything should have a gate, barrier and lock on it! It never ends! Each station should have a platform gate, each railroad crossing, a signal and gate... do you have any idea how many there are in all of Japan? 

You're right.

Lines like this, found all over Japan, which has a huge number of level crossings, are a legacy of a hardier age. When they were built, railways introduced numerous hazards, but people were simply expected to pay careful attention to them, and when they didn't, and the worst happened, well, too bad. Life was much cheaper once, and people viewed accidents, even accidents that killed children, as tragic rather than unforgivable. It's not that that was a better policy, but it was certainly how a lot of the world worked. The world has changed a lot in the last 50 years.

Retrofitting the most stringent safety features to the entire Japanese rail network would, as you imply, impose a huge financial burden on the railway operators, on passengers, and on taxpayers. In some cases, it would be easier, or cheaper, or more expedient, to simply close the line, as has happened in many countries across the world from the 1960s onward. Rural lines in Japan stuggle to survive, but at least many of them do survive. For now.

This particular line is single-track, no expresses, with two trains per hour in each direction - and in a very few cases, three trains in an hour. Hardly busy. The gateless crossings seem to be on particularly narrow roads, with barriers or obstacles narrowing the entrance to the line even further and "funneling" pedestrians and vehicles - and only cars less than a certain width are permitted to use them.

https://www.google.com/maps/@34.5525145,133.3498283,3a,45.8y,175.99h,84.81t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1syH7rLL3kC3Id2MHZkfMilQ!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

And for the people who live nearby, being able to cross at these points - generally on foot or bicycle - would be far preferable to taking a long detour to the next crossing on a wider road.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

No signals or crossing gates are at the railway crossing. 

I'm confused. If wipeout's link is pointing to the right spot, it looks like a gate with signal to me?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Plenty in Japan.

Accidents bound to happen.

Life is indeep cheap until they get back to 50 millions inhabitants.

Rip to the child.

Maybe a suicide ?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

RIP but my question is how do you walk across a live train track and not look in both directions before proceeding. I suspect that there is a cell phone or tablet to blame here.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I'm confused. If wipeout's link is pointing to the right spot, it looks like a gate with signal to me?

I looked at more than one gateless crossing on that section of the line and didn't attempt to identify the particular location of the accident. I doubt it's possible from this story alone. As it happens, all the ones I looked at had the same kind of signal as the picture shows, and anyway, I was speaking more generally, as you can probably tell from the part of another poster's comment that I quoted.

The only way to make a line like this supposedly safe would be to use bridges or tunnels at every level crossing, which due to cost would be more likely to result in fewer crossing points or some lines closed altogether. And lines like this one can be found all around Japan. When the railways were built, most of them many decades ago, level crossings were perfectly normal, as in many other countries. Some countries have made efforts to remove as many such crossings as possible. Others have retained them. But as Japan's is one of the most extensive networks anywhere, removing all level crossings would be a massive undertaking, and even then, smaller, less busy lines outside urban areas would be the lowest priority.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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