15-year-old girl killed by train while running across tracks in Osaka

OSAKA —

A high school student who was trying to run across the tracks to get from one platform to another died after being hit by a passing train at a station in the city of Kawachi-Nagano in Osaka Prefecture on Thursday afternoon.

The 15-year-old student was hit by a Nankai Line train heading for Nanba as it passed through Chiyoda Station just before 4 p.m. The girl was heading home from school with a friend, and the pair had attempted to cross over the tracks to get from one platform to another. The friend had reached the opposite platform first and was unharmed in the incident.

Police quoted the friend as saying that they had jumped down onto the tracks to cross over because they thought using the stairs was too much trouble.

News reports

  • 0

    Canukle

    'using the stairs was too much trouble' Oh, well - at least being hit by a train didn't inconvenience you further. I feel for the parents but come on, at 15 you should have a bit more sense than to jump down from a platform and run across the tracks. Where were station staff? Did any other passengers say anything...DO anything? Or did they just avert their eyes until the girl got hit and then say..oh kawaiso ne~

  • 0

    my2sense

    Too many kids getting killed... Christ, this is Japan...

  • 0

    my2sense

    I would say the do not inconvenience me and physical laziness gene in Japanese genes is the culprit.... Its a bloody train culture.

  • 0

    smithinjapan

    "Police quoted the friend as saying that they had jumped down onto the tracks to cross over because they thought using the stairs was too much trouble."

    Too much trouble, eh? I wonder if the dead girl thought that in the split second before getting hit. I feel terribly sorry for the dead girls parents, and I hope the parents of the one who lived drill it into the girl how stupid she and her (now dead) friend were being.

  • 0

    JA_Cruise

    I feel sorry the girl who survived, I am sure she feels responsible and she will have to live this memory for the rest of her life... this could drive a person insane because of guilt..

  • 0

    christa879

    I'm with you there JA Cruise.. The friend is going to has so many psychological problems because of seeing this.

  • 0

    KaptainKichigai

    using the stairs was to much trouble??? it was only a matter of time before one of them tried to fly from the balcony because using the elevtor was too "mendokusai"....

  • 0

    Debucho

    Did any other passengers say anything...DO anything? Or did they just avert their eyes until the girl got hit and then say..oh kawaiso ne~

    stop blaming society for an individual's blatant stupidity. There are signs all over every station that say do not go on the tracks. As for the people around, i am sure they did not expect to see two 15 year old girls jump onto the tracks of an oncomming train. Come on!

  • 0

    jj1980

    I don't understand why some lines have the protective guard rails and others don't? These lines or the government need to spend money on safety before anything else. That way there isn't anything like this or other freak accidents, and may even curb suicides as well.

  • 0

    Seiryu

    I love subways/the metro but I HATE open platforms below-ground, not least for the reason that people can shove you onto the tracks to try to kill you, and I've always wondered why there aren't more platform doors. At the SFO Airport BART station they have to put signs and cones up because apparently people try this all the time!

    This falling-into-the-tracks problem tends to be less of an issue with aboveground light rail systems such as VTA in California; the rails are at street level, they tend to be a lot cleaner and the open ticket system is really a convenience. The airport-style people movers are much better with the trains behind a large wall with doors. Given the alleged cost of train suicides perhaps they need to get with the times and upgrade the station.

    Hey, don't they usually sound a horn when the train goes through, and have a safe crawl space?

  • 0

    LFRAgain

    "Did any other passengers say anything...DO anything? Or did they just avert their eyes until the girl got hit and then say..oh kawaiso ne~"

    What precisely were other passengers supposed to do in this situation? Jump down onto the tracks with the girl? Stare intently with bated breath as the girl was hit?

    I imagine if you were there, everything would have been vastly different do to your calm, reassoned approach to every sudden, dangerous situation. (roll eyes)

  • 0

    ratpack

    Sad but totally moronic idiots. I dont know how many times i've seen schoolkids ride their bikes across the road seconds after the lights have turned red thinking that because they are on a bike the cars will stop if they dont have time to make it across......most times the cars honk their horns but the kids dont give a rats ar$e, most times they are smiling as if to say yeah we made it. I feel sorry for the driver of the train who has to go through life knowing that he has ended the life of a young girl..or in this case a young moron who was too lazy to use the stairs.

  • 0

    KnowBetter

    Don't fix anything that isn't broken. Why spend money blocking stupid people from doing something they should not do? The more someone tells them not to do something is only more reason for them to do it anyways. I think the best thing to do is to place this story FRONT AND CENTRE throughout Japan and let everyone see what not following instructions can lead to.

  • 0

    lmshea

    Suicide or stupidity?

  • 0

    R_M_s

    Seriously, jumping down onto the tracks is a moronic thing to do, but can't they see or hear the train coming! Its kinda big, and fairly loud!

    Feel very sorry for the parents and the young girl's friend.

  • 0

    timorborder

    I believe that NHK actually described this as two kids having a bit of a dare, namely, getting across the tracks before the express came through. Well it appears that at least one of these rocket scientists has done us all a benefit from removing themselves from the gene pool.

    On another note, everybody is reporting that no people on the train were injured. That's right folks, it back to work as usual. Then again, I wonder how well the driver of this train slept last night. Indeed, if he has any future stress issues, perhaps he might sue the parents of the deceased.

  • 0

    Asukawind

    Such a sad story my heart goes out to the family and her friend. I mean i'm only 16 and if i witnessed my friend die right in front of me i dunno what i'd do. I've done plenty of stupid stuff but reading this story has changed my view on life

  • 0

    no1samurai

    Unfortunate, but correct me if I'm wrong...we have all done stupid things when we were young. She took the risk and paid the ultimate price. I feel sorry for the dead girl's friend who has to deal with this for the rest of her life.

    @my2sense - This has nothing to do with race/genetics, just foolish youth (IMHO).

  • 0

    IronBeard

    I used to live there. The platforms are lower than in the cities and I've seen lots of kids doing this. Maybe they'll learn now.

  • 0

    nedinjapan

    Lazy Culture! People risking their lives to avoid a few stairs!

  • 0

    moonbeams

    Some thoughts. One, who doesn't make poor judgements when they are a teenager?

    Two, this could have been something the pair often did, thus creating a false sense of security and confidence.

    Three, it is possible they were listening to portable music devices and failed to have heard the train approaching.

    My heart goes out to the survivor. She or he will be tormented for life from this.

  • 0

    mikehuntez

    One girl is dead but the culture of "Leap before you Look" is alive and well in Japan. Some people will have to learn the hard way. The survivor learned the hard way. Now live with the fact that played some part in your friend's death. Tough life it is.

  • 0

    Hawkeye

    Terrible tragic accident. I always thought that the Japanese train stations are accidents waiting to happen. Since japanese local and Shinkansen trains stop exactly where the train's doors match the yellow rubberized markers on the platform, you can install rails with sliding openings that only open when the train is at a standstill and always are closed when no train is at that platform. The train station at Atami on the top of the Izu peninsula has a similar rail system because the platforms are very narrow and the express/nonstop bullet trains whiz through that station at high speed and the suction created will pull you off the platform onto the tracks. May that young girl RIP.

  • 0

    Canukle

    @Dubucho & LFRAgain,

    I did not mean that they really had a chance to do anything, but did anyone at least scram at the poor girl 'hey stupid, a train is coming!!' or 'watch out!' or even 'NoooooOOoooo'. I don't expect everyone to be heroes and yes, she jumped down of her own accord, but she was only 15 - at that age you usually aren't the brightest penny in the fountain. I was just wondering if anyone tried to help/warn. etc. Not blaming it 'on society'.

  • 0

    Molenir

    You have to wonder about the intelligence level of kids like this, who think its too much trouble to take the stairs, as opposed to jumping in front of an oncoming train. That said, very sad, for the girls family, and especially for her friend. This is not going to be something easily gotten over.

  • 0

    thepro

    Express trains can come through so fast she probably didn't even see it coming

  • 0

    my2sense

    was being somewhat sarcastic... my apologies...

  • 0

    kolohe

    At that age, you feel you are invincible, can do anything, have the speed of a gazelle in racing ahead of the train. It is sad but a hard lesson learned for her friend and others. Still I think that this thing will continue.

  • 0

    fishy

    this could have been something the pair often did, thus creating a false sense of security and confidence.

    i doubt this was their first time.

  • 0

    moonknightskye

    really really not so good to do. I remember one incident where 3 children doesnt want to cross the overpass, the 2 went and cross the road and they failed to convince the other kid to take the shortcut because his mother will get mad at him... they made fun of him and cross. the result? 2 kids ran over by a truck and the kid on the overpass was safe of course

  • 0

    bicultural

    I remember the incident a while back where a drunken lady was rescued by a brave young male. I doubt that could've happened here, since she was running across the tracks in the first place. Just very poor judgement.

  • 0

    missy25

    stupid senseless death, if only teens had a frontal lobe and common sense.

  • 0

    harkins

    Very tragic. But this site never fails to amaze me - I'm not sure what is more stupid; chancing everything by running across railway tracks or some people believing that this kind of incident is somehow uniquely Japanese.

  • 0

    grafton

    It is incredibly sad that a 15 year old loses her life because of a stupid act, but it is near enough normal the world over that 15 year olds do things like this. As I am sure many of us on this site will have done, do try to remember how stupid we all were, it is part of growing up and learning what not to do. We do in fact have a 16 year old here on this site (though we perhaps shouldn’t have. Are there not rules about age here?) that seems to be making more sense that many of his elders when it comes to understanding this. What I find a little silly here are the people suggesting special barriers to protect people waiting for trains, a good idea no doubt but just how expensive would this make rail travel? And where else in the world does this? Like most people here I have travelled a great deal and nowhere in the world have I come across platform barriers on stations so why should Japan be singled out for being in extra special need of these things. As for the paranoids that fear being pushed in front of oncoming trains, try waiting for a rush hour train on the undergrounds of London, Paris, Madrid or Barcelona, if you think the Japanese traveller can get rude and dangerous try Europe for it’s lack of civilisation. This girls act was stupid and she has paid much more than enough, so too has her friend and family, nothing anybody here can say will add anything more to that, except to say that I am sorry she didn’t make it across.

  • 0

    crazychibi17

    WTF! That's why you use the stairs stupid! So you don't get hurt like this!

  • 0

    Fadamor

    So senseless... So sad.

  • 0

    vatousuke

    Long EASY or short HARD WAY

    those were the two choices

  • 0

    billyshears

    I imagine it must also have been extremely traumatic for whoever had to witness the incident, especially the poor train driver. I wonder if these drivers get any kind of psychiatric help after such a tragedy. I know if I were driving that train, I would need some kind of help to get over the shock even though the images would be forever ingrained in memory.

  • 0

    HonestDictator

    I agree with most of the poster ideas that there are still youthes that just aren't wise enough to think about what they're doing. Truely the girls friend is going to be traumitized and she'll be a lot wiser due to this terrible loss of life.

    "You don't think it will happen to you, but then it happens... to you"

  • 0

    Sunjovi

    Just one more suicide by a japanese

  • 0

    Ranger_Miffy

    Seems in Tokyo the stations are installing barriers along the platforms that will keep everyone safe. Suicides will have to climb over them, but at least no one is going to shove me into the train's path. Makes the platform a lot more crowded, but I can live with that! I wonder if there is a plan to install these barriers everywhere in Japan. Anyone know?

  • 0

    SayomiKimura

    Well said grafton

  • 0

    space_monkey

    What amazes me is that Japanese cross the roads when the pedestrian light turns green but they don't look left or right.

  • 0

    jj1980

    KnowBetter at 10:52 AM JST - 14th May - Don't fix anything that isn't broken. Why spend money blocking stupid people from doing something they should not do? The more someone tells them not to do something is only more reason for them to do it anyways. I think the best thing to do is to place this story FRONT AND CENTRE throughout Japan and let everyone see what not following instructions can lead to.

    You have to be seriously joking. You know what's broken? The fact that there wasn't a barrier to prevent this. They prolly wouldn't have done the dare or whatever it was because it wouldn't have worked, wouldn't have made sense, to risky of getting caught. Those girls would have to climb the barriers to jump onto the tracks etc etc or a train conductor on duty walking the platform would have a chance to stop them. Then somehow get back up on the other side. The likeliness of the "dare" wouldn't have been possible so they may have not even have thought about such a stupid stunt. Plus it prevents people from getting pushed in by accident or on purpose. It's a little harder to also commit suicide as well. It's almost like saying they shouldn't put airbags in cars because people should know better not to speed or be better defensive drivers. No matter how much you tell them, they still drink and drive, still speed, etc. But you know what? In the end it has saved plenty of lives.

    @space monkey - Yep, but that is everywhere. But the thing that makes it crucial in japan is the "3-5 second rule" some of the idiots have about the red light.

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