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Visually impaired woman hit, killed by train after falling off platform

26 Comments

A visually impaired woman in her 60s fell off a train platform and was hit and killed by a train in Tokyo’s Katsushika Ward on Tuesday morning.

According to police and Keisei Electric Railway Co, the incident occurred at 10:20 a.m. at Tateishi Station on the Keisei Oshiage Line.

Platform surveillance camera footage showed the woman, who had a white cane, pass through the ticket gate and walk along the yellow braille blocks on the platform, Fuji TV reported. However, she stumbled near the edge of the platform, which has no doors, and fell onto the tracks. Just as the woman managed to stand up, she was hit by an oncoming train.

The train driver was quoted by police as saying he applied the emergency brake but couldn’t stop in time.

Police said the woman had with her a physical disability card indicating she was visually impaired.


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26 Comments
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visually impaired? we aren't allowed to say blind anymore?

-3 ( +12 / -15 )

visually impaired? we aren't allowed to say blind anymore?

This isn't even a logical inference from the article. We don't know whether she was blind or had serious issues with her sight. Please review the definition of blind and you'll see the error in your thinking.

6 ( +11 / -5 )

Allowed? Were the laws changed?

You know languages are dynamic and always changing right? Also, "blind" is an absolute where as being visually impaired has a range...it's a much more apt description most of the time.

14 ( +14 / -0 )

@Dango - Visually imparted does not necessarily mean blind.

this is quite a tragic scenario, which does tend to repeat itself a few times a year. Perhaps, there should be more help for visually impaired people at train stations. I have escorted visually impaired people many times at train stations.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

I once saw a visually impaired person walking around in circles on a train platform with no one offering to help her.

I wish more people would look out for one another.

When I see a person with a blind stick walking near the edge when a train is coming, I often say out loud to to the person that one's coming and please be careful.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

When I see a person with a blind stick walking near the edge when a train is coming, I often say out loud to to the person that one's coming and please be careful.

You're so wonderful and it's great that you told us so too.

-1 ( +6 / -7 )

"visually impaired" means not having full sight, maybe not totally blind, able to see light and dark. If I see someone on the platform with a stick I usually go ask them if they want help, which is usually accepted.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

Police said the woman had with her a physical disability card indicating she was visually impaired.

Is it to let us know she was not lying about being blind, and did not fake her fall to her death?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

visually impaired? we aren't allowed to say blind anymore?

That's what you've chosen to focus on in this tragedy? "PC gone mad?"

That poor woman, what a terrible thing - made worse by her awareness of the increasing sound of the train. A terrible end, which could have been avoided by not having these open platforms, and clearer floor markings.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Tough break.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

It will be awesome when all of the major train stations have physical barriers / doors to prevent these kind of accidents.

7 ( +7 / -0 )

This is sad . . . hopefully train stations will employ better safety devices.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Another train death that would have been prevented with gates.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

You know languages are dynamic and always changing right? Also, "blind" is an absolute where as being visually impaired has a range...it's a much more apt description most of the time.

Unfortunately, "blind" is far too widely used. Many legally blind people have some sight. This creates confusion, and completely blind people suffer because of it. A blind friend describes why he doesn't wear sunglasses because many people won't believe he is completely blind, but somewhere in a range of visual impairment.

On top of that, people walk right into him or push him aside all the time. It's despairing to see how inconsiderate and self-involved people can be.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Station without barrier gates is dangerous and the station people need to accompany people with visual impairments. I do hope that many school teachers today will discuss this news in their classes and provide information on how to watch out for them. Everyone who sees a visually impaired person navigating the platform, needs to stop and watch them and ask if they wish some guidance

Here is how to ask if they would like help respectfully. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1705868/.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Visually impaired means having eyesight in the 20/40 (medium impairment) or 20/60 (severe impairment) range. Any higher than 20/60 and you are legally blind.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I wonder why they won't implement glass doors and walls on those platforms.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I wonder why they won't implement glass doors and walls on those platforms.

They are installiner more platform barriers in Tokyo all the time, but obviously this can not be done all at once, and it can not be extended to the countryside.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I wonder why they won't implement glass doors and walls on those platforms.

There was an article about this fairly recently. Here's what I remember:

Platform gates are standard in new stations and for new lines and old lines and stations are having them retrofitted - but it takes time and money so it's a slow process. Many old platforms weren't built to take the additional weight of gates, so that needs to be addressed first, and any and all construction has to happen in small stages, as the trains must run around what 18 or 19 hours of every day. The various train /subway operators are prioritizing which stations to focus on as they go.

At the same time, many stations are retrofitting for accessibility for users of wheelchairs and baby strollers and in some cases, that construction is given priority. Added construction for elevators and escalators creates new dangers for people with visual impairments.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

OsakaDoug

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1705868/.

Thanks for this! It is really a great guide.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

God, that's horrible

4 ( +4 / -0 )

OsakaDoug, Very nice article, but I was surprised there was no nihongo...which is what I was expecting.

Does anyone know of a bilingual guide? Please post the url here.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Oh boy this is very sad, and also avoidable, in the case where people jump in front of a speeding train the relatives are charged for the damage, compo for the late train passengers etc, in this case I hope the train co does not chase her relatives for any money,

2 ( +2 / -0 )

It could also have been suicide. We will never really know.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Dango I can see you're not blind. Who are you to decide what words are offensive?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@Patricia Yarrow : Thanks for taking a look at the guide. I wish there was a nihongo guide about this as well so I searched more. This guide has similar instructions

https://www.nittento.or.jp/news/koekake.html

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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