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First Fatal ‘Bullet Train’ Accident Reported

December 28, 1995

TOKYO (AP) _ A teen-ager became the first person killed on Japan’s high-speed bullet trains after he got caught in a car door.

Yusuke Kawarazaki, 17, died Wednesday night at Mishima station near Tokyo, the railroad company said today.

The train dragged Kawarazaki more than 100 yards along the platform before he fell on the tracks. Kyodo News Service said Kawarazaki’s coat got stuck in the door and he suffered fatal head wounds.

Officials of Central Japan Railways said it was the first fatal accident involving the 130 mph bullet trains since service began in 1964.

In the only other train death, a man ran in front of a bullet train in 1992 and was killed in an apparent suicide.

Japanese train stations display posters warning riders not to attempt to board trains as the doors are closing. But commuters in a hurry often ignore the warnings, sometimes shoving open nearly shut doors.

Similar fatal accidents have occurred on other Japanese trains.

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