Tohoku bullet train delayed five hours after hitting person on tracks


About 430 bullet train passengers were stranded for five hours from Saturday night to early Sunday on the Tohoku Shinkansen Line in Kitakami, Iwate Prefecture, after their train hit an apparently suicidal person, police said.

At around 9:25 p.m. Saturday, the driver of the Hayabusa-Komachi No. 33 headed for Shin-Hakodate-Hokuto Station heard an unusual sound and halted the train about 5 km north of Kitakami Station, according to East Japan Railway Co. (JR East).

A body of an unidentified person was later found nearby, the police said.

The accident delayed the train by five hours, JR East said. It also affected 1,250 passengers of the Tohoku and Akita shinkansen lines, the railroad said. The train arrived at Morioka Station early Sunday.

For many, Saturday was the final stage of the weeklong Golden Week holidays.

Maiko Nitta, 23, an office worker in Hakodate who was caught up in the mishap, said she was completely exhausted.

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