Psychological Factor Cited behind Shinkansen Incident

Society Politics

Tokyo, March 28 (Jiji Press)--The Japan Transport Safety Board on Thursday highlighted the psychological aspect of the operator's failure to promptly detect a crack created in the undercarriage of a Shinkansen bullet train while in operation in December 2017.

The transport ministry-affiliated board said in a report that West Japan Railway Co. <9021>, or JR West, which was operating the train in question, made a wrong assumption at the unconscious level that the problem would not cause anything serious.

The crack was found during emergency checks conducted by Central Japan Railway Co. <9022>, or JR Tokai, which took over the train's operation from JR West on the Tokaido-Sanyo Shinkansen Line. It was very deep and had placed the Shinkansen undercarriage on the verge of fracturing.

The case has been designated by the board as a serious incident that could have led to an accident. This was the first such designation involving a Shinkansen train.

After departing from Hakata Station in the southwestern prefecture of Fukuoka, the Shinkansen train, Nozomi No. 34, was heading for Tokyo.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press