1 dead, 33 injured as train collides with truck in Japan

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One man has been confirmed dead and 33 people were injured after a train collided with a truck in Yokohama, south of Tokyo, on Thursday noon, causing sections of the train to derail.

According to rescue officials, the accident occurred around 11:40 a.m. as the train, possibly traveling at 120 kms per hour, hit the truck at a crossing on the Keikyu Line between Kanagawa-Shimmachi and Nakakido stations in Yokohama.

The incident caused the first three carriages of the eight-car train to derail and the truck to burst into flames, according to local media.

The head of the train was severely smashed and barely hung with the carriages, while thick black plumes of smoke were seen rising from the wreckage.

Police said the driver of the truck was pinned under the train and suffered serious injuries after the impact, according to police reports.

He was later identified as Michio Motohashi, a 67-year-old male.

Motohashi was confirmed dead after being admitted to a hospital. Among the injured, a female passenger in her 20s was also seriously hurt.

A transport firm in Katori, Chiba Prefecture, said it believes the truck was from its fleet and the driver was carrying fruit from Yokohama to Narita, east of Tokyo.

Yellow oranges were seen scattered around the battered train after the collision.

The train was heading south from Aoto station to Misakiguchi station when the collision occurred.

The train operator has suspended services near Yokohama's waterfront, between Keikyu Kawasaki station and Kamiooka station.

Railway accident investigators have been sent to the site of the collision, the Japan Transport Safety Board said.

Meanwhile, a liaison office has been set up to coordinate the response to the accident.

Keikyu Corp., the transportation company, said it would attempt to resume train service by Friday's evening rush hour in areas affected by the accident.

The Keikyu Line runs through Tokyo and neighboring Kanagawa Prefecture, and part of its service takes passengers to and from Haneda airport.

The company has been involved in a few derailing incidents previously. In September 2012, a Keikyu express train encountered a mudslide in Yokosuka and derailed, leaving over 50 people injured. Another train operated by the company was also involved in a mudslide-related derailment in April 1997, injuring 19 people.

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