Man in wheelchair struck, killed by train at railway crossing in Kobe


Police said Saturday that a 77-year-old man in a wheelchair was struck and killed by a train in Kobe.

Masahiko Hatanaka, a disabled wheelchair user, was hit and killed by a train on the Kobe Dentetsu line at a level crossing in the city's Kita Ward at around 1 p.m., Fuji TV reported.

Police said the train driver noticed Hatanaka on a level crossing and applied the brakes, but could not stop the train in time. Hatanaka was pronounced dead at hospital.

Police believe the incident occurred as Hatanaka was making his way back to a nearby disability support facility in which he lived. He had gone out for lunch and was returning to the facility with his groceries at the time of the incident. Police believe the wheelchair somehow got stuck on the crossing.

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A camera and software to detect objects on the crossing, and use that information to stop the trains. There is not enough time when the driver first sees the crossing.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Again? Didn't this happen a couple of months ago?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

'tis Rail Safety Week in the Antipodes.

Cameras and software to detect objects / people on crossings and using that information to stop trains would be rather less than effective. Trains need a LOT of room to stop.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

What train company was this? The article should have stated this, as well as which line it was on.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

People in wheelchairs must have another person to assist them at railroad crossings should be the law.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

could be the poor old guy just had enough. After all, you'd have to make a bit of an effort to get stuck sideways

-7 ( +2 / -9 )

This is so tragic. With the present situation, like Jack said, it should be mandatory to have another person assist the person in the wheelchair at railroad crossings. And in the future, there won't be any potentially deadly railroad crossings, as all these trains will be underground or elevated above the roads.

As Dr. McCoy would say if he traveled back to the 21st century, "How did these people ever get out of the 21st century?"

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

Well, it's Kita-ku so it's either the Hokushin Kyuko or Kobe Dentetsu. Probably the Kobe Dentetsu, I can't think of anywhere you can cross the Kyuko's tracks...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

And yet every other person standing by waiting for the train to pass did 'NOTHING' to help save this man's life.

Now who is to blame, the train company or a society that would rather watch an elderly man die than help him?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

RIP, old disabled fella. The train driver has almost certainly been "retired", he is history. That is sadly how things often work here.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The front casters on a wheelchair are often just 6" to 8" in diameter and could easily turn and get stuck in the tracks. If an individual is using a wheelchair and also crossing train tracks then front double casters... or a total of 4 casters, two each, might be employed. The width between each caster should be wider than that of the gap of the train tracks. Hopefully Japan has a rule for pedestrian crossings and track / gap parameters. This should reasonably prevent an unfortunate incident such as this from happening again.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

And yet every other person standing by waiting for the train to pass did 'NOTHING' to help save this man's life.

You know that there were other people there?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

To those of you saying it should be mandatory to help people across the tracks: That is a completely overreaction and worse, an insult to those in wheelchairs. Not every person in a wheelchair wants to be dependent on someone else every minute of their waking life. By saying that, you're saying people in wheel chairs shouldn't be allowed out of the house on their own. That's incredibly insulting.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

And yet every other person standing by waiting for the train to pass did 'NOTHING' to help save this man's life.

Please read the article more carefully. This was not at a train station, it was a crossing. The article says the police "believe " he got stuck on the tracks which means there were no witnesses to question.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Thank you, mods, for providing the train company & line. I would've written here sooner but for some reason have been unable for the last few weeks to post or rate comments from my work machine.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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