Tokyo train departs with visually impaired man’s guide cane caught between doors

Kyodo

A white guide cane of a visually impaired man walking on a station platform was caught between the doors of a departing train in Tokyo earlier this month and remained unnoticed until it arrived at the next station, officials of railway operator Tokyu Corp. said Tuesday.

The man was not hurt in the Nov. 17 incident, which took place at Futako Tamagawa Station on the Denentoshi Line. The man was approaching the first car of the 10-car train bound for Chuo Rinkan Station at around 4:45 p.m. when his cane got stuck in the doors, according to the railway operator.

The train sensors, which can detect objects 15 millimeters or wider, did not detect the cane. The man let go of the guide stick as the train left for Futako Shinchi Station, which was the next stop.

The train conductor, who was standing about 200 meters away, also did not notice the object trapped by the train’s doors. Since the man had moved away from the train, the conductor gave the cue for departure.

Tokyu apologized to the man and reported the incident to Japan’s transport ministry. The operator also compensated the man for his white cane, which broke in the incident, and vowed to prevent a recurrence.