23 Injured in Train Collision in Japan
A head-on train collision in western Japan on Sunday injured at least 23 people, some seriously, on the same coastal section where a similar crash last year killed one person, police said.
Two one-carriage passenger trains crashed on the Echizen line run by Keifuku Electric Railroad Co., some 320 kilometers (200 miles) northwest of Tokyo, said an official from the Fukui prefectural police.
"We have confirmed 23 casualties, including some who were severely injuried," he told AFP.
The collision occurred at around 6:13 pm (0913 GMT) near a railroad crossing 400 meters (1,320 feet) south of Hossaka station, the official said.
The southbound train was heading towards Hossaka although it was scheduled to wait at an earlier stop for the northbound express train to pass by, media reports said.
Keifuku Electric suffered another head-on collision last December when the brakes on one of the single-carriage trains using a nearby line failed, leaving a driver dead and 27 people injured.
The collision dealt another blow to the vaunted reputation for rail safety in Japan, which is home to the famed shinkansen "bullet train" network.
In March last year, five passengers were killed and 34 were injured in a horrific subway train derailment in central Tokyo.
Japan's worst head-on train crash was in May 1991 in the western prefecture of Shiga, which killed 42 passengers and injured 527 – TOKYO (AFP)
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