yamanote accident

At approximately 3:30 p.m. yesterday, all trains on Japan Rail’s Yamanote line came to a sudden halt. The words jinshin jiko could be heard echoing through stations across Tokyo as announcements rang out explaining that service on the Yamanote line had been suspended and that other routes may suffer delays as a result.

Jinshin jiko literally means “human body accident”, and is a vague phrase used to communicate that someone may have been injured or killed as a result of a traffic accident. Very often, however, it means that someone has thrown themselves in front of a train.

Sadly, this is far from an unusual occurrence, and, as horrendous a sight it must be for anyone to witness, people have become used to hearing of these “accidents” on Tokyo’s train lines. However, photographs uploaded to Twitter by Japanese commuters yesterday have left many speechless and evoke feelings of pity for the driver of the train in particular, who will undoubtedly be left emotionally scarred by the incident.

The following images do not contain scenes of blood and gore, but some readers may find them disturbing.

Minutes after the incident, which occurred at Shinagawa station on the Yamanote line, images began appearing on Twitter showing the front window of the train severely damaged by the impact.

yamanote scene

yamanote scene 3

Tragically, Tokyo’s police and station staff are all too familiar with incidents of this kind. They quickly erected screens around the site while medical and clean-up crews arrived at the scene. Working hard to remove evidence of the incident while still conducting a proper on-site investigation, service was resumed on the Yamanote line approximately one hour later.

yamanote scene 2

yamanote cleanup

Although the person involved in the accident has yet to be formally identified, many Japanese bloggers are suggesting that it was a man aged 50-60. Eye witnesses maintain that the man intentionally jumped in front of the moving train.

Testament to the frequency of incidents of this kind, many Japanese Twitters users initially posted comments as a means of sharing news of delays to JR’s services. Catching sight of the above images, however, the nature of the tweets soon changed, with many calling the incident “horrific” and “incredibly sad”. Despite station authorities working flat-out to erase all trace of the incident, even after normal service had resumed on the line, one Twitter user posted a disturbing message indicating that some evidence of the accident still remained, saying: “As the train pulled in to the station, the rush of air brought with it the smell of blood.”

Japan is believed to have the ninth highest suicide rate in the world, and is the leading cause of death in men aged 20-50.

If you or someone you know are living in Japan and suffering with depression or contemplating suicide, there are people here to help. Click here for information about support lines and groups in your area.

Source/images: NAVER まとめ