14 hurt as automated train reverses into buffer stop

At least 14 passengers were injured in Yokohama, Japan, when an automated train bound for Namiki-Chuo Station stopped abruptly, ran backwards some 25 metres and hit a buffer stop, reports say.

The accident happened at Shin-Sugita Station around 8.15 pm on Saturday (June 1).

Shin-Sugita is the terminus of Yokohama Seaside Line which operates the 11-kilometre automated guide-way transit (AGT) connecting Shin-Sugita and Kanazawa-Hakkei stations.

Of the 14 injured, the condition of six is serious but not life-threatening. Some of them suffered bone fractures.

The five-car train was carrying 50 passengers when the accident happened.

As the train crashed into the buffer stop, several passengers were thrown off their seats. Some suffered bloodied faces and heads after they knocked on handrails. Panicked women and children cried for help.

AGT services have been suspended until further notice, a spokesman of Seaside Line said at a presser.

The company said this is the first accident of a passenger train reversing into a buffer stop since the AGT was opened 30 years ago.

Seaside Line apologised for the pain the accident caused to passengers and said it is clueless on what made the train run in the wrong direction.