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96-year-old woman killed by train at crossing in Tokyo

25 Comments

A 96-year-old woman died after she was hit by a train on a crossing in Tokyo's Setagaya Ward, police said Saturday.

According to police, the accident occurred at 12:30 p.m. Saturday on a crossing on the Tokyu Oimachi line near Oyamadai Station, NTV reported. Police said the woman, identified as Yoshiko Shioji, was pushing a cart across the tracks when it got stuck. The crossing gates came down but Shioji was unable to get off the tracks in time.

The train driver was quoted by police as saying he applied the emergency brake but it was too late.

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25 Comments
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That's really sad. I guess there was no one around to help her. Feel bad for the driver too, having to live with that terrible image.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Do emergency train brakes EVER work fast enough to save the person?? The way I see it they'd almost be better off if the trains didn't have these so called "brakes" so that when the train hits you it will be fast enough to be an instantaneous unavoidable death rather than a slower, more painful unavoidable death!

-7 ( +5 / -12 )

Emergency brakes are not for people who decide to save a cart instead of getting of the trains way of for suicidals.... its to prevent more serious collisions

9 ( +9 / -0 )

There's usually a fair bit of time between the gates coming down and the arrival of the train. Probably, the train driver only saw her when it was right on top of her. I know level crossings all have cameras, but I guess they don't (yet) have a way to transfer those pictures to the train driver. That would be useful, as would using image recognition to see obstacles on the rails. These kind of accidents are rather frequent.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

If he was a car driver he would get no mercy. He would be expected to have the driving coordination of James Bond and squeeze between her the lamp post and the cars in the other lane. As if standing in the middle of the road is completely different from standing in the middle of the train tracks. As someone who tried to avoid a deer in the middle of the road with a steep drop on one side and a steep hill on the other, I know well that I cannot drive like James Bond. In a way, the driver was lucky.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Read the article again closely ! She was 96years old! Do you realize how fast people that age can walk if at all?' She was not trying to. save the cart. The cart was how she was able to get around! Bless her soul she could still get around by herself at that age.

I know this station well - it is not that big - on the way to Jiyugaoka - someone could have helped The poor soul to live this long and end this way. So sad.

Rest in peace.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

the report said the cart got stuck not her. why didn't she just left her cart and get out of track. there is sufficient time for her to get off harm'a way cause I'm pretty sure she heard and see the track gates going down. nevertheless I feel sorry for this tragic situation

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Again - she was 96 years old!

People - get real . Without the cart she would fall down .

She couldn't move without it.

Capice ?

4 ( +7 / -3 )

WTH is a 96 year old woman doing by herself, let alone shopping by herself, let alone walking to the bloody supermarket and crossing a railroad by herself?!?!?!?!?

-2 ( +4 / -6 )

Probably because she was able to and had done that for over 90 plus years.

When or if you ever get to 96 years old AND can still walk - with or without a cart, THEN ask that question .

5 ( +6 / -1 )

@oderman Exactly! Where are her caretakers? I see this all the time. 90 year olds that can barely walk, out by themselves.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Even with the application of emergency brakes, your average train travelling at just 100km/hour needs 250 meters before it stops. You'd need a dead-straight piece of track and a driver with eyes like a hawk to pull it off. Our technology isn't always enough to save us from ourselves ....

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If he was a car driver he would get no mercy.

Trains cannot swerve and it takes a lot more time for them to stop than an automobile.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

Railway crossings are a dumb idea, trains should run underneath or over the top and no one should be put at risk of being hit. RIP old lady.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

If people assume that the train's emergency brakes can stop on a dime, then that process will probably kill more people inside the train than outside. Not all of the passengers are sitting down.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

In the linked Japanese article there's no mention of her push cart getting stuck. It just says that the old lady entered the tracks as the crossing alarm began to sound and the crossing gates came down. It also mentions that the crossing was equipped with an emergency stop button (ostensibly for the train?) but no bystanders pushed/activated it, which is a shame.

http://www.tokyo-np.co.jp/article/national/news/CK2013110202000134.html

OhBeeJuanKahonez

I don't know why you're getting so defensive about this, but regardless of how healthy and independent this 96 year-old woman may have been, she clearly wasn't able to safely negotiate a simple train crossing, not to mention other common hazards like longer/wider crosswalks with shorter green lights, so perhaps it wasn't such a wise thing that she was out about town on her own. I think it was an avoidable accident on her and her relatives' part, don't you?

2 ( +3 / -1 )

When are they going to put all these trains underground and eliminate these crossings which are not only dangerous but hamper road traffic?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

This type of accident is why railroads in Japan are spending a fortune elevating their tracks near major train stations, for example the new Tobu Isesaki Station at Isesaki in Gunma Prefecture that just opened two weeks ago.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Level crossings in Japan look so dangerous. I've been on trains and al that separates people from instant death is a bar.

At 96 this poor woman may not have had her full wits about her. She may not even have heard the alarm... as for bystanders... there may not have been any within reach of the old lady. Japan needs to invest in either bridges or underpasses where railways crossings are concerned.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Interesting facts for those not familiar with Japanese traffic laws:

Pedestrians have the right of way on roads, but trains have the complete right of way at crossings. This even goes for ambulances and police cars. Which is why you might some time get a chance to see an ambulance or police car shut off their sirens and stop while they wait for a train to pass at a crossing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

USNinJapan2

Not being defensive - pointing out that some have no idea of the limitations of the elderly.

Granted she should have had someone accompany her, but the comments about saving or abandoning the cart or just walking quickly on her own without it when the gates closed is complete nonsense.

If you have spent any time personally with the elderly and one that is over 90, one would not make such absurd assumptions.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Pedestrians have the right of way on roads, but trains have the complete right of way at crossings.

Maybe that's because it usually takes a train several hundred meters to stop.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The number of times this line appears in the news: "The train driver was quoted by police as saying he applied the emergency brake but it was too late. " All news sources must have a macro for it. It happens enough times that the train companies and local governments should be able to find a solution. Hire a guard for each level crossing, perhaps.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Maybe that's because it usually takes a train several hundred meters to stop.

Exactly, as I and others have noted above.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

"Probably because she was able to and had done that for over 90 plus years.

When or if you ever get to 96 years old AND can still walk - with or without a cart, THEN ask that question ."

Id ask her, but she is dead, and I wonder why....because......she COULDNT still walk

0 ( +2 / -2 )

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