• Kyodo News


The train involved in the deadly 2005 derailment in Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture, rounded a curve at a speed of 116 kph just before the accident, according to an analysis by the transport ministry’s accident investigation panel.

The Aircraft and Railway Accidents Investigation Commission previously said the speed was between 115 and 117 kph and was able to pinpoint it after seeking cooperation from West Japan Railway Co. (JR West) in analyzing the available data, informed sources said Saturday.

The rapid-service commuter train on the JR Fukuchiyama Line derailed the morning of April 25, 2005, along a curve between Tsukaguchi and Amagasaki stations and plowed into a condominium building. A total of 106 passengers and the driver died. More than 550 were injured.

It has also been found that on the straight section leading to the curve, the train was moving at 124 to 125 kph even though the designated speed limit was 120 kph, the sources said.

The driver applied the brake temporarily on the straightaway, but the data show the brake was not used again until the train entered the curve, they said.

The commission plans to publish by the end of December the results of the investigation so far and meet with experts early next year, the sources said.

It wants to produce its final report before the second anniversary of the accident next year.

The interim report issued in September said the driver, Ryujiro Takami, 23, entered the curve without applying the brake at a speed far exceeding the 70 kph limit and applied the brake one second later.

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