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Pregnant woman killed by train in Shiga

27 Comments

A pregnant woman was killed after she was hit by a train at JR Minami-Kusatsu Station in Shiga Prefecture, police said Monday.

According to police, the incident occurred at around 11 a.m. Sunday. Witnesses were quoted as saying that the 28-year-old woman was on the edge of the platform when she suddenly collapsed. As she went down, her head leaned over the edge of the platform and she was hit by an incoming limited express train arriving at the station, police said.

The woman sustained severe injuries and was rushed to hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival.

According to police, the woman was four months pregnant. Witnesses said she appeared ill and was holding her stomach before she collapsed.

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27 Comments
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Morning sickness I guess? Its a shame no one could help her.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Very sad, RIP

2 ( +4 / -2 )

And why are there no guardrails at the platform that could have prevented her from getting hit? This was a totally preventable tragedy that JR should take responsibility .

-26 ( +1 / -25 )

Terrible accident!

1 ( +3 / -2 )

And why are there no guardrails at the platform that could have prevented her from getting hit? This was a totally preventable tragedy that JR should take responsibility .

Not everything in the world is someone's fault. If you really feel the need to attribute fault to someone, you could put it on the woman for not standing behind the yellow line as they announce before every single train - particularly if she was feeling unwell. But in all reality, it's not her fault either, it's just a really unfortunately circumstance and really sad.

21 ( +23 / -3 )

"And why are there no guardrails at the platform that could have prevented her from getting hit? This was a totally preventable tragedy that JR should take responsibility ."

Do you really think no one has looked into this problem? They have, and they are currently testing advanced dynamic barriers. Have honestly never realized that trains are different? Different trains stop at the same station. You cant just have a railing and a door open. Because different trains have different doors and different doors that are different lengths apart.

2 ( +5 / -2 )

Devastating accident. Totally hit me for six as my wife had a funny turn on a station's platform when pregnant with our third child; I luckily happened to be there so was able to catch her. JHC. My sincerest thoughts to her and her child's loved ones. Extremely upsetting; when you think of how happy and excited her partner, grandparents and perhaps siblings if any would be at the thought of the new family member on their way. Phffff.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

A very terrible freak accident and an incredibly sad tragedy. My heart goes out to the woman, her unborn child and her family.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

RIP. @Yubaru, how about when you are feeling ill, then not come to close to the tracks? This was an accident.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Do you really think no one has looked into this problem?

Yes....because this IS the land of closing the barn door after the horses run away, along with the rest of the farm as well.

The guard rails should be installed on all platforms, no excuses, none. Where I live there are automatic gates, and all platforms have walls not "rails" and have been there from the time the platforms were put into service and not an after thought.

A wall or rail would have prevented this from happening.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Oh my god that is so deeply tragic. My wife is 4 moths pregnant.

Where was her husband? I always go out with my wife when she goes anywhere to support her.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

Did the woman literally collapse or just lean over for a few seconds and not realize a train was coming?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So sad! RIP!

While I was pregnant I was extra careful and wouldn't stand close to the edge of platform. Being pregnant should always try and find a seat and be extra careful with yourself and your surroundings.

Really sad and tragic...

4 ( +4 / -0 )

OMG..that's horrible...so sorry for her!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is so tragic. RIP young lady and your baby.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

The guard rails should be installed on all platforms, no excuses, none.

There are many perfectly good excuses. For example, most countries with large train networks have never bothered with platform doors or guard rails. More recently, they've added them - as they've built new lines, typically on lines served by a single type of train - airport terminal transfer lines, monorails, that kind of thing.

Secondly, there's the very high cost. People with armchair knowledge who go around saying "no excuses, none" don't have to consider this (or anything). In the real world, people do. Hong Kong started adding platform doors on the MTR about ten or fifteen years ago after a couple of unpleasant accidents involving passengers being pushed onto the tracks. It took years to fit them, and a levy was placed on every ticket, so 3,000,000 passengers were funding half the cost of the doors at HK$0.10 per ride. The levy was finally removed last year.

Even after the merger with KCR, the MTR has less than 100 stations in Hong Kong. This is nothing compared to the complexity of the network in the Tokyo region and in Japan's other big metropolitan areas. Even deciding where they start and end is complicated, but applying your standards, every station, no matter how rural or lightly used, must be included.

Even if the doors are installed in Japan, they have to deal with other practical aspects: how much will they slow down passengers (and trains) at times of heaviest station use; what happens if a door or set of doors stops functioning; will people get trapped or injured by the doors; what happens during emergencies like fires, earthquakes, and power cuts.

Meanwhile, even without doors, danger lines are clearly marked near the edge of the platform. They are there for a reason, and people should respect them a lot more than they do.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Wow what a sad way to die! RIP mother and unborn child!!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There are many perfectly good excuses

There is NEVER a perfectly good excuse for a preventable death. Other countries and their methods do not matter, Japan is supposedly NOT a 3rd world country.

Japan's typical problem is fixing something AFTER an accident or incident occurs. THAT is the bigger problem, and it isnt about money either, when one considers the overall costs of building a train system and everything related to it, walls, barriers, automatic gates, and other safety measures are a drop in the bucket in the overall scheme of things.

If there was a barrier in place she would not have died.

-7 ( +0 / -7 )

letsberealistic

The husband may have been at work (yes, even on Sunday). I can't imagine any husband can spend 24 hours a day for 10 months with a pregnant wife, unless very wealthy. I hope you become the father of more than moths!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I once saw a pregnant woman pass out on a subway in The States, it does happen. She was only out for a few seconds and when she opened her eyes she had something of a bewildered look on her face.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

There is NEVER a perfectly good excuse for a preventable death. Other countries and their methods do not matter, Japan is supposedly NOT a 3rd world country.

Do all first-world countries have gates on all train platforms? First I've heard.

Japanese rail companies ARE installing gates on their platforms, and have been for a while. It's not happened overnight because of the cost and logistics, especially for platforms that serve different kinds of trains. Tokyo Metro is currently planning to install gates in all of their stations.

If someone gets ill, falls into the street and gets hit by a bus, whose fault is that?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Yubaru, sounds like you live in a special place. I can't beloved you'd use this story as an opportunity to have a go at Japan. I understand your concern but get real. This is such a sad story. Rip.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Japan's typical problem is fixing something AFTER an accident or incident occurs.

Actually that happens in a lot of places, and not just in Japan.

With all the millions of passengers that use the Japanese rail system everyday you would think that there would be more deaths. The yellow lines are there for a reason. Safety is not the sole responsibility of the train companies. Passengers are just as responsible for taking care of themselves.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Why on Earth would someone be so close to the edge of the platform?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Although it makes this case extra sad, I think the fact that the woman was pregnant is fairly irrelevant. Anyone, male of female, pregnant or not, can have a fainting or vertigo spell, stroke, heart attack, stumble over their own feet, what have you. Work on adding safety fences and whatnot has been progressing but it won't be finished any day soon so it's important for people to think about where and how they wait for trains. Stations now have warning signs to place baby strollers and wheelchairs parallel to the edge of the platform to lessen the chance of rolling off the edge but I still see them placed heading in the wrong direction, accidents waiting to happen.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This is really sad and I can see how it could happen. I had a fainting spell when I was about 4-5 mths pregnant and luckily I was on the train and my husband was with me. One minute I felt fine, the next thing I knew I was on the floor with everyone looking very concerned about me. And trust me, I didnt want to get back on the train! So for this lady, it is very very unfortunate and perhaps she was standing too close to the edge of the platform. I feel for her family.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

THAT is the bigger problem, and it isnt about money either, when one considers the overall costs of building a train system and everything related to it, walls, barriers, automatic gates, and other safety measures are a drop in the bucket in the overall scheme of things.

It's quite a bit more than a drop in the ocean. I gave the example of Hong Kong's MTR because they actually installed platform doors at all their stations. The ticket levy remained in place for 13 years

http://www.thestandard.com.hk/news_detail.asp?art_id=139525&con_type=1

and the cost of installing the doors is given in the article as costing HK$2.3 billion (US$295 million, JPY29.5 billion, or thereabouts)

This is a map of the lines and stations in the MTR network:

http://www.mtr.com.hk/eng/sustainability/sustainrpt/2006rpt/assets/img_mtrmap.gif

Compared to Japan, very simple, as you can see. This is the Tokyo region network (JR only):

http://www.wa-pedia.com/images/content/TokyoJRMap.gif

Not only would the costs be multiple times higher than in Hong Kong because of the greater number of stations, but the complexity would be compounded by the types of trains in operation on those lines, where the MTR never really had more than one type running on one line. Despite that, they had to deal with challenges that the layman wouldn't necessarily think of. This is quoting Hong Kong's transport minister: "Retrofitting screen doors at above-ground stations was "akin to station rebuilding" because of the complexity of installing massive air-conditioning and ventilation systems."

There are many stations like that in Japan: the majority of them.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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