Railway operator Tokyu blames snow for train collision in Kawasaki

Kyodo

An official of railway operator Tokyu Corp. suggested Saturday that snow may have caused a commuter train collision shortly after midnight in Kawasaki that left 19 passengers with light injuries.

At around 12:30 a.m., a train on the Tokyu Toyoko Line linking Tokyo and Yokohama rammed another train that was waiting at Motosumiyoshi Station after having overrun the stop line by about 30 meters. The first and second cars of the moving train derailed from the impact.

Fumiaki Shiroishi, general manager of Tokyu’s railway business, said the brakes of the train that rear-ended the other “were not as effective as expected due to the effects of snow.”

He noted that the automatic train control system was working properly at the time.

According to the Kanagawa Prefectural Police, the driver said he applied the brakes but failed to stop in time. There were about 80 passengers in the train that was hit and the moving train was carrying about 60.

A 52-year-old man seated in the third car of the eight-car train that got hit said the impact of the crash threw him into the aisle in just a second. “A shiver goes down my spine when I recall what happened,” the man said.

Train runs had been disrupted by heavy snow at the time of the accident, and as of early Saturday afternoon the line had not resumed service. Due to the accident, Keio University, whose Hiyoshi campus is served by the line, delayed the start of its entrance examination until the afternoon.

Meanwhile, another mishap on Tokyu’s railway occurred Saturday morning due to heavy snow since the previous day. Part of the roof on a platform collapsed at around 7 a.m. at Kodomonokuni Station in Aoba Ward, Yokohama, apparently due to the weight of snow on it., railway officials said.

No train or passengers were on the platform at the time, and no injuries were reported, they said