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37 cm-gap along train tracks helps woman avoid accident in southwest Japan


NAGASAKI -- A woman avoided a potential accident with a train thanks to the help of a 37-centimeter gap along the railroad tracks in southwest Japan.

    At around 7:45 a.m. on Nov. 10, the driver of a two-car rapid service train bound for Sasebo, Nagasaki Prefecture, found a woman in her 50s sitting on the railroad tracks of the JR Omura Line in the city of Omura, also in Nagasaki. The driver slammed on the brakes and the train came to a halt, but the woman was caught beneath the first car. The woman had no noticeable external injuries. It is believed that she was saved due to a 37-cm gap between the bottom of the train car and the ground, just before the train would have otherwise hit her.

    According to the Omura Police Station, when the train stopped, the woman was lying down, facing upward, between the rails beneath the middle part of the train's first car. She was reportedly sent to the hospital in an ambulance after she complained of pain in the side of her body, but her life is not in danger.

    A senior official at the police station said, "It was a narrow escape. It's close to a miracle." The woman resides outside of the city of Omura, and has reportedly said that she entered the tracks on her own.

    None of the about 130 passengers were injured. A total of four train services were suspended, affecting around 1,000 people.

    (Japanese original by Atsuki Nakayama, Nagasaki Bureau)

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