6.8 Japanese temblor derails bullet train

Posted on October 25, 2004

Japan's Shinkansen bullet train derailed for the first time in 40 years, after a 6.8-magnitude earthquake hit the Northern part of the nation. The train, bound for the city of Niigata from Tokyo, derailed between the Urasa and Nagaoka stations in the prefecture, making it the first bullet train derailment since Japan started the high-speed railway in 1964, said the East Japan Railway (EJR) Co. The train was running at about 130 mph when the first in a series of earthquakes hit, the EJR said. Electric power transmission halted automatically and an emergency brake was engaged. No injuries among the 151 passengers were reported. Analysts said the incident casts doubts on the long-held belief that the Shinkansen trains would be safe even in powerful earthquakes, reported the Kyoto News Service.

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