By Helene Fung
While Japanese trains are usually known for their safety and punctuality, an out-of-character tragedy happened on Thursday local time. An express train carrying 500 passengers and estimated to be travelling at 120 km/h collided with a truck at a crossing near Yokohama Station, south of Tokyo.
The crash derailed the front carriage and pinned the truck to a wall. The impact shattered the train’s front window and bent an overhead power line. Soon after, the truck burst into flames and caused widespread panic.
Emergency crews took 30 injured to hospitals, including two with severe injuries, one of whom was later confirmed dead. The diseased was the driver of the truck, a 67 year old man who was pinned under the train. The other seriously injured is a young woman in her 20s.
The Keikyu train company said that their train driver had applied the emergency brake, but it was too late to prevent the collision. The company indicated that there is an abnormality-detection system for emergencies, which triggered an alarm signal. They said that an investigation into the accident has already been launched.