Bullet train on Akita Shinkansen Line derails; no injuries reported


A bullet train derailed Saturday afternoon on the Akita Shinkansen Line, halting all services on part of the route but avoiding injury to the approximately 130 passengers onboard, operator East Japan Railway Co. reported.

The first of the train’s six cars derailed around 4:05 p.m. after its driver heard an abnormal noise on a snowy stretch of track in Daisen, Akita Prefecture, and brought it to a sudden stop, JR East said.

All services on the Akita Shinkansen Line between Morioka, Iwate Prefecture, and Akita have been suspended, the operator announced.

The accident occurred between Jinguji and Kariwano stations on a branch line that shares a regular track with other trains in northeastern Japan. A heavy snow warning had been issued in the area at the time of the derailment, according to a local observatory.

The Japan Transport Safety Board said it will dispatch officials to the accident site to investigate the causes.