SHIZUOKA – A man died after jumping from a speeding bullet train in a suspected suicide, police said.
The man, believed to be a 27-year-old resident of Fukuoka Prefecture, jumped from the train around 8:10 p.m. Tuesday, causing the driver to make an emergency stop.
The Tokaido Shinkansen Line was shut down, and all operations were not resumed until after 11 p.m., Central Japan Railway Co. (JR Tokai) said.
According to JR Tokai, the driver of the Nozomi No. 150 bound for Tokyo from Osaka made the emergency stop while running between Hamamatsu and Kakegawa stations after a signal indicated that the door of car No. 3 was open.
After railway officials rushed to the car and found that the door on the left side was open, a passenger said a man opened the door and jumped off. The man is believed to have opened the door using an emergency lever.
The train was going 230 kph.
A body believed to be that of the man was later found near a bridge over the Tenryu River in Iwata, Shizuoka Prefecture. The man’s wallet, including his driver’s license, and a watch, were found in the train.
JR Tokai is currently modifying its bullet trains so that emergency door levers cannot be operated while a train is running, following an incident in which a man killed himself by jumping from a shinkansen last March.
The train in Tuesday’s incident has not yet undergone the modification, JR Tokai said.
The incident affected 44 bullet-train runs, causing a delay of up to about three hours for some trains.
Some passengers had to sleep overnight in trains parked at the Tokyo and Shin-Osaka stations.