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Southwest Japan station staffer oversleeps, causes people to miss day's first train

This file photo shows the sign of Kyushu Railway Co. (JR Kyushu) headquarters in Fukuoka. (Mainichi/Taiki Asakawa)

SAGA -- Would-be passengers were unable to board the first train of the day at a station in southwest Japan on Nov. 26 after a worker on the night shift overslept, Kyushu Railway Co. (JR Kyushu) said.

    According to the train operator, the worker in his 60s took a nap in a break room at Kiyama Station on the Kagoshima Line in Saga Prefecture and overslept, apparently because he had forgotten to set wake-up devices including two alarm clocks. Consequently, the gates at the station remained closed when the first morning train bound for Kokura Station in neighboring Fukuoka Prefecture left Kiyama Station at 5:08 a.m.

    At least four people missed the train as a result, while at least one person entered the closed station by climbing over a platform fence, and made it to the first train. The passenger then told the train conductor that the gates to Kiyama Station were closed.

    JR Kyushu released a comment, stating, "We apologize for causing disruptions. We will train our employees to prevent a recurrence."

    (Japanese original by Hiroyuki Takahashi, Saga Bureau)

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