Strict Policies May Be At Root of Japan Train Crash

    April 26, 2005
    WebProNews Staff

Ryujiro Takami, the 23-year-old driver of the train that crashed into a building in Amagasaki, Japan, may have been speeding to overcome a 90 second time delay.

The delay was caused when Takami overshot a platform immediately before the crash occurred. After taking time to back the train into its correct position, he reportedly asked the conductor to lie about the extent of the overshoot.

To make up for the delay, Takami drove the train up to a speed of 65 mph, a speed at which ultimately caused the train to derail and plow into a building, killing 76 people and injuring over 400 others.

Takami, who has had his license for 11 months, has been twice reprimanded for overshooting platforms and was once described by a passenger as looking “absent minded.” It is unclear if Takami survived the crash.

Police raided the offices West Japan Railway (JR West) this morning, toting away boxes of documents to investigate the policies of the company.

According to the Mainichi Shimbun paper, the rail service instituted a strict on-time policy two weeks ago and had begun investigating drivers whose trains were delayed by as little as one second.