• Kyodo

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A 55-year-old blind man died Monday in Tokyo after he fell from a platform in a subway station and was run over by a train.

According to Tokyo Metro Co. and the Metropolitan Police Department, Naoto Shinada of Setagaya Ward was walking along the edge of one of the Ginza Line platforms in Aoyama-itchome Station with a guide dog and fell off.

Security video footage showed that he was not pushed, nor did he bump into anyone.

There was a pillar partially blocking the braille tiles he was walking on and investigators suspect that he may have fallen off when he tried to skirt it, investigators said Tuesday.

Although a station official pushed an emergency button, it wasn’t fast enough to stop the incoming train that hit him, they said. Shinada was rushed to a hospital but died about three hours later.

The platform does not have safety barriers and doors.

According to Tokyo Metro, safety barriers have been installed in 85 of their 179 subway stations and plans are ongoing to install the safety feature at Aoyama-itchome Station by the end of March 2019.

“Blind people tend to stand on braille tiles (near the edge of the platform) while waiting for the train because it may take time to find the door of the train that has arrived,” said Kanji Yamashiro, an executive at a nationwide group for the blind.

“Since there have been many blind people who have fallen from platforms, train operators should install platform doors at every station as soon as possible,” Yamashiro said.

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