Friday, 10 October 2014

Accidents Do Happen

Filed under the "Strange But True" drawer was a story from Tokyo, Japan. An unnamed woman but apparently aged in her 30's, somehow fell down a 8 inch (20 cm) gap between a train and the platform, and was trapped at JR Minami-Urawa rail station, just north of Tokyo in July 2013.  A public announcement that a passenger was trapped was relayed across the station

This prompted about 40 people to join with train officials, to attempt to push the 32-ton train carriage to one side, and free the woman.

Passenger Squeeze Measures Reached New Heights In Tokyo

Amazingly, they succeeded because, being Japan, the train was modern and had a suspension system that allowed it to lean to either side while taking bends ..... good luck trying to do this on a UK train. The unnamed woman was then pulled out uninjured, to the applause of the onlookers and seemingly didn't go to hospital.

But, in the part of the story that totally amazed me as a regular train traveller in the UK, and who can attest to how easily UK train services collapse at the slightest incident, because after just an eight-minute delay, the train went on its way.  Presumably with the woman on board.

And in one of those even stranger but still true follow ups .... in August 2014 in Perth Australia, a man slipped between a train and the platform ..... so his fellow passengers, along with transport staff, then tilt the train so he can pull himself free. They were co-ordinated by someone who shouted '1, 2, 3, push' so that the train didn't rock back and crush the trapped mans legs. He was freed and after some minor treatment for bruising and gashes, he later took the train home.

Train Tilting In Perth

In the UK, the H&S brigade would have been all over the incident and closed the line for at least 24 hours, and probably a few days ... we no longer accept that no fault accidents do happen, and that people can fix them without 'experts'.

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