News On Japan

5 monorail cars collide at zoo grounds

FUKUOKA, Oct 19 (News On Japan) - Five cars on a monorail at the Kumamoto City Zoological and Botanical Gardens collided into each other on Wednesday, with passengers reporting sore backs and necks.

The collision occurred 5.7 meters above ground when the first car began stopping erratically, initially near the elephant enclosure, then after a few dozen seconds, it resumed operation before stopping again near the Japanese monkey enclosure, resulting in the next 4 cars rear-ending the car in front.

Each monorail car has a capacity of 4 passengers, and a woman in the third car said, "After seeing the train in front of us stopped for a while, I thought, 'Ah, we're going to hit, we're going to hit, we're going to hit' and then we did."

Another woman felt something amiss about the monorail she had been riding since she was a child, saying, "I've been riding this train for nearly 20 years, but the shaking has gotten pretty bad lately. The outside of the train is rusted. The rails are also rusted. It shakes."

As for the cause of the accident, Kumamoto City Zoo and Botanical Garden Deputy Director Matsumoto Mitsufumi explained, "In emergencies, the train behind is supposed to stop automatically. We are wondering why it ended up a rear-end collision on this occasion."

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