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Train logged 116 kph just before 2005 fatal derailment in Hyogo.

TOKYO, Dec. 2 Kyodo

The train involved in deadly derailment in April 2005 in Hyogo Prefecture rounded a curb at a speed of 116 kilometers per hour just before the accident, analyses by the transport ministry's accident investigation panel showed Saturday.

The Aircraft and Railway Accidents Investigation Commission previously said the speed was between 115 and 117 kph and has come to pinpoint it after seeking cooperation from West Japan Railway Co. (JR West) in analyzing data, informed sources said.

On the morning of April 25, 2005, a rapid-service commuter train on the JR Fukuchiyama Line derailed along a curve between Tsukaguchi and Amagasaki stations, plowing into a condominium building near the tracks in Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture. A total of 106 passengers and the driver died and more than 550 people suffered injuries.

It has also been found that at the straight rail section before the curve, the train traveled at 124-125 kph, beyond the designated speed limit of 120 kph, and temporarily applied the brake, the sources said.

But records show no brake was applied thereafter until it entered the curve, they said.

The commission plans to publish the results of their investigation so far by the end of December and hold expert meetings to listen to their views early next year, the sources said.

The commission is working to produce its final report on the accident before the second anniversary of the accident next year.

The interim report issued in September said the driver, Ryujiro Takami, 23, entered the curve without applying the brake at a speed sharply exceeding the speed limit of 70 kph and applied the brake one second later. The train then leaned left and the first and second cars hit an electrical pole around 60 meters ahead of the condominium building.

The cars then overturned and plowed into the condominium building.
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Publication:Japan Transportation Scan
Date:Dec 4, 2006
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