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Thursday, Sep. 27, 2012
Keikyu ups injury total from derailment to 28
By MIZUHO AOKI
Keikyu Corp. has raised to 28 the number of people injured in a train derailment late Monday in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture.
The eight-car Keikyu Line train ran into a mudslide caused by heavy rain between Oppama and Keikyu Taura stations, injuring 27 passengers and the 24-year-old driver. Initial reports said 11 people were hurt.
Seven men and women in their 30s to 50s were seriously injured, including suffering broken ribs, Tokyo-based Keikyu said Wednesday.
Keikyu was initially scheduled to resume services on the section between Kanazawa-Hakkei and Hemi stations at noon Wednesday, but removing the derailed train has taken longer than expected so Keikyu said services won't resume until sometime Thursday.
According to Toshiyuki Ogura, head of Keikyu's train division, the commuter train was running at 75 kph at the time of accident. The driver hit the brakes about 10 meters before the mudslide, which was far too late to avoid the obstruction.
"We are deeply sorry many of our customers were injured," Ogura said at the news conference Tuesday night in Tokyo. He said Keikyu will conduct a survey to ensure the safety of all of its train lines.
Keikyu said the accident was caused by rain that turned out to be stronger than it forecasted in that area.
A safety net at the site measuring more than 1,000 sq. meters was swept away by the mudslide, according to Keikyu.
The net was installed there in 1998, a year after a Keikyu train was derailed by a landslide between Keikyu Taura and Anjinzuka stations in Yokosuka.
The site of Monday night's accident is outside Keikyu's regulated area where drivers are ordered to reduce speed during heavy rain.
Ogura said the company will consider expanding the regulated area.
According to the Meteorological Agency, around 100 mm of rain fell between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. Monday in the Yokosuka area, and it had issued warnings for heavy rain, flooding and landslides.
Information from Kyodo added