JR West employees stand near the damaged bonnet of the bullet train on Thursday. Photo: YOUTUBE
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Gov't orders JR West to probe fatal incident involving bullet train

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The first suicide by Shinkansen covered in blood and body parts found in the tunnel.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Apparently they found pieces of this person over 50 meters of the track. What was the driver doing that he didn’t notice the impact? Was he another dozing train driver? Playing games on his phone? I’ve akways been surprised that there is only one person driving these high speed trains. There should be two people in the cockpit at all times.

-6 ( +2 / -8 )

Inside a tunnel, bet the driver never noticed. So very sad claps hands

-10 ( +0 / -10 )

Can they really hear that noise in a tunnel? They need a sensor, rigged to an alarm.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

Was he another dozing train driver?

Have you ever watched a youtube video taken inside the cockpit of a bullet train? I doubt he was dozing! It's a high-paced, full-on job from what I've seen.

There's a lot of noise and a lot going on. At high speed, and focussed on the controls, speed inputs etc, it's unlikely he'd have seen the man if it was inside a tunnel.

He should have reported the noise and any abnormalities in line with company policy. So if he's failed to adhere to such policies then he's in a bit of trouble.

judging from past experience that the train had hit a small animal

Hadn't really though about this much before, but I guess it happens more often than you'd think - especially in a tunnel where any bird or other animal to get inside wouldn't be able to get out before being hit.

What a selfish man though! There's so many ways to off yourself that don't impact the public and hurt other people's lives (the driver of the train, for example) but he chooses that?

3 ( +6 / -3 )

a station employee found smeared blood on the train's bonnet, which was cracked, when it stopped at Kokura Station but reported the matter to the operation center only after the train had departed.

Even if there wasn't blood, I sure hope they'd report cracks promptly! JR West will lose the trust of passengers.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Apparently they quite often hit small birds and animals. If they stopped the Shinkansen each time it would throw the whole system into confusion.

Having said that, the 'bonnet' was not just cracked, but ripped apart and smeared with blood. Perhaps not visible from the driver's windows, but flapping CFRP will make a hell of a noise as it disrupts the train's aerodynamics. Someone dropped a stitch here.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Goi g through those tunnels on the shinkansen, you are met with a lot of loud noises caused by air pressure and /or other trains passing through at the same time.

If the driver was looking at his instrument panel, he could very well have not seen anyone on the track. And even if he had, there's no way he could have stopped in time.

But it beggars belief why he didn't at least get out and check for damage at his next stop, and why the other staff member waited until after the train departed to say anything!

6 ( +6 / -0 )

kiwiboy - Have you ever watched a youtube video taken inside the cockpit of a bullet train? I doubt he was dozing! It's a high-paced, full-on job from what I've seen

Have you you ever seen the news reports of train drivers dozing in Japan? I guess not.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

If we accept that from the driver’s perspective that the situation was ambiguous, it must surely not have been to the station attendant who witnessed the damage to the train. Why did s/he feel he could wave the train on without a thorough inspection? Is there too much pressure on maintaining punctuality to the extent of compromising safety?

Shades of Amagasaki here, even if the consequences were far less severe.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Sure, why not have an internal investigation? I'm sure they'll look at it thorougly and objectively.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

iwiboy - Have you ever watched a youtube video taken inside the cockpit of a bullet train? I doubt he was dozing! It's a high-paced, full-on job from what I've seen

Have you you ever seen the news reports of train drivers dozing in Japan? I guess not.

Bullet train drivers? While operating (driving) their train at high-speed between stations? No, I haven't.

Normal train drivers? Yes. But their workload and the level of intensity while driving is very different!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Well if you're going to kill yourself that's an effective way. If you want to see what happened watch some YouTube videos of vehicles at speed hitting deer or cows. That poor soul was vaporized

0 ( +1 / -1 )

But how the hell do you not notice and then not stop and check something's up

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

If you zoom in on the picture you can see the big smear down the side of the train

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Hell of a way to commit suicide. I would prefer going quietly on my own. Do these jumpers intend to inconvenience others as a last sign of defiance?

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

He didn't jump. He stopped his car climbed onto the tracks and stood inside a tunnel waiting to get hit

1 ( +2 / -1 )

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Airplanes carry just a proportion of what Japan's Shinkansens carry on a single trip, but Airplanes have two Pilots. Why should the lives and destiny of these volume of passengers on Shinkansens be trusted just to a single soul? Humans are humans and anything can go wrong that could affect his service and responsibility without prior notice, and in that instance and considering the speed of a Shinkansen, what will be the faith of Passengers at that moment???

Something should be done about this.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

A little unfair to blame the driver completely. There is a good chance he had no idea anything like that had happened.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I guess he thought he'd hit a bird.

As for the guy committing suicide, wonder whether he felt anything ?

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Probably the best way would be to stand with head bowed towards the oncoming train, that way the oncoming train would almost instantly pulverize the head without much time to think about pain, not sure, I wonder if the body parts distribution would shed some light upon how exactly he carried it out... lying across the track would clearly not be good as you'd get sliced into 3 at best.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

If the man was hiding in the tunnel and jumped out at the last moment while keeping very low, it is believable that the driver wouldn't have seen him assuming the train was going at over 240 km/h.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The size of the crack would seem to indicate a collision with a pretty heavy or dense object! Assuming the train was travelling at over 240Kph the unfortunate person that it hit would have been vaporised or at least exploded, but to cause that sort of damage they would have to have been massive!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I'm surprised that the man could even hit the train, the wind effect of the train entering the tunnel should surely have pushed him aside

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Don't see much fault with the driver. The crack (and blood) is on the side of the nose, hard to realize it was something big, esp inside a tunnel with its other noises. But the station employee should be questioned harder. Looks like he thought only about punctuality, doing his motions during that 60 sec stop as learned in the training. Which begs the question: if a customer was in trouble, would this employee spot it and act, e. g. use his brain?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Bonnet should be much harder like nose of jet airplane.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

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