• Kyodo

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An 89-year-old woman with impaired vision died Monday when she was hit by a train after falling from a station platform in Osaka, police said.

The woman, whose name was not released, fell at around 9:20 a.m. in Kami-Shinjo Station, the police said. She was carrying a certificate indicating her visual impairment.

According to witnesses and surveillance camera footage, she fell after gradually veering toward the tracks as she walked. She had just gotten out of a Kyoto Line train run by Hankyu Corp.

Although she initially managed to scramble under the platform after falling, she was hit by the train while trying to retrieve an umbrella using a stick, the police said.

The driver of the out-of-service train braked but was unable to stop in time, they said. The woman was pronounced dead after being taken to a hospital.

The station has tactile paving on its 5-meter-wide platforms to assist vision-impaired passengers, the railway operator said. No station employees were on duty on the platform at the time of the accident.

To prevent this kind of accident, the government and railways have been taking measures including the installation of platform safety barriers, but Kami-Shinjo Station has no such feature.

In January, a 63-year-old visually impaired man with a guide dog died after being hit by a train when he fell from a platform in Saitama Prefecture. In October, a visually impaired man was struck and killed after falling off a platform at Osaka’s Tonoki Station, which also did not have platform safety barriers.

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