Airlines, railways compile plans for accident victim support programs

JIJI

Major railways and air carriers have drawn up plans to support people who may be involved in severe accidents in the future.

The plans, which follow guidelines issued in late March by the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry, stipulate support measures, including setting up exclusive response areas and providing transportation and accommodations for affected travelers.

Five carriers — East Japan Railway Co., West Japan Railway Co., Tokyo Metro Co., Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways — also assigned staff to take charge of assistance work.

Some also announced steps for handling the belongings of accident victims and for holding memorial services for fatalities.

The ministry compiled the guidelines in light of past shortcomings by the state and transportation companies when it came to providing assistance to victims of major accidents in the past, including the 1985 JAL jetliner crash and the 2005 train crash on JR West’s Fukuchiyama Line.

The guidelines call on airlines, railways, shipping firms and bus operators to state their support policies and detail how to provide information on the safety of individual passengers, to cope with accidents on site and to continue long-term help for survivors.