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Sad Day on Denentoshi Line

I live along the Denentoshi Line, that runs from Shibuya in Tokyo to Chuorinkan in Kanagawa. It is one of the most busy, if not the busiest, train line in Tokyo. There are both local trains (stop at every station) and express trains (stops at the big stations) running on this line. Usually in the mornings from about 6-7 until about 9-10, during rush hour, the trains are very crowded, particularly the express trains. You have to work your way into the train. In the evenings, it’s the same thing, from about 5-6 to the last train at around 12.

It’s not uncommon that someone commits suicide by throwing him- or herself in front of a passing express train. It happens every day somewhere in Tokyo. Today at about 5.30 pm - just as the rush traffic starts - someone jumped in front of a passing train at the Takatsu station on the Denentoshi line. The traffic stopped for almost two hours and resumed again at around 7.15 pm. It took that long for the crew to clean up and repair the tracks.

Then at 8.30 pm, people at Yoga station reported to station staff that there were sparks flying as the trains went by. It was then discovered that there was a crack in the rails about 6 mm wide. So again they had to stop the traffic while welding it back together. It started again after about 1 hour and 40 minutes. During this time and because of the even more crowded trains from the earlier stop, several people started complaining about feeling bad. Eight of them felt so bad that they had to be taken to a hospital.

According to Asahi newspaper, some 167,000 people were affected by the events today. Extra staff was employed at certain stations to stop people from entering the ticket gates and get on to the platforms because of the crowds. They were given free tickets to go other ways to their respective destinations.

I was lucky and wasn’t heading home after school, instead I was going to see a concert in Shibuya so I took another way there. Even so, I could still notice that there was something seriously wrong when I got in with the train to the Jiyugaoka station from school on the Oimachi line. I was changing there for the Toyoko line to Shibuya. When I got on the train in Ookayama, I had to grab hold of the doors and push myself in to the car. Nothing unusual there, but when we arrived at Jiyugaoka, the platform was completely packed with people. I was happy I got off there, because it would have been unbearable to go the rest of the way on that train.

When I got to Shibuya I was supposed to meet up with my room mate, but he was stuck in Yoga and he had to take a taxi from there all the way to Shibuya. It costed him about 3000 yen, which is around 180 kr. He then told me that his train was quite empty, but in the other direction he had seen people literally fall out of the train when the doors opened. That’s how full they were. After the concert we had gotten a report from another friend that she was stuck on the train, and that they would stop it for the rest of the evening. This got us concerned since it’s the only way for us to get home. So we went to confirm it with one of the staff at the station, and he told us that they had just started up again, but that it was slow and that there would be no express trains.

To wait the whole deal out for a bit, we went to a bar and had a couple of beers. When we later decided to go home, the train was surprisingly empty and the ride was as smooth as it could be.

One Response to “Sad Day on Denentoshi Line”

  1. 1
    Viktor:

    That`s a perfect summary of a looong day. Some one in my lab told my six people commited suicide on Denentoshi that day…

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