Truck may have taken wrong road before crashing with train in Yokohama

Work continues to remove a derailed Keikyu Line train in Yokohama on Friday morning. Photo: KYODO. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.


YOKOHAMA, Sep 6, 2019, Kyodo. The driver of a delivery truck that got stuck on a railway crossing and was hit by a commuter train in Yokohama near Tokyo appears to have approached the crossing from a road he was unfamiliar with in a deviation from his normal route, police said Friday, reported the Japan Today.

The police searched the truck operator, a transport company in Katori, Chiba Prefecture, over the Thursday accident that left the truck driver dead and caused the eight-car express train on the Keikyu Line to derail, injuring 33 people.

The truck driver, Michio Motohashi, 67, apparently misjudged the angle of a right turn from a narrow side road along the tracks, according to the police, with the truck getting caught on the tracks as the driver repeatedly turned the steering wheel.

The transport company to which he belonged said Motohashi was bringing fruits from Yokohama to Narita but that the side road was not a part of the route the company had instructed him to take.

Keikyu Corp, the operator of the train, is aiming to resume services in areas affected by the accident by Saturday morning, company officials said.

Keikyu stepped up recovery efforts on Friday, bringing in a large crane to move the three derailed carriages at the crossing near Kanagawa-Shimmachi Station.

The train operator had initially sought to normalize services by the Friday evening rush-hour period, but the removal of the carriages is requiring more time than expected.

The express train from Aoto in Tokyo to Misakiguchi in Kanagawa Prefecture was carrying about 500 passengers at the time of the accident. The truck caught fire after the collision.

The police said they are analyzing camera footage shot around the time near the crossing to determine the truck’s movements.

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