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Another monorail accident: Little girl falls from platform

Date Posted: 2004-02-26

Another child has suffered injuries on Okinawa Monorail after falling through a space between the station platform and the railcar.

Okinawa Monorail experienced its third similar accident when a two-year-old girl fell through the gap between the platform and the train at Gibo Station. The girl fell 2.5 meters onto the concrete basement under the rails. She hit her head but did not suffer any broken bones. Hospital officials say her injuries will heal in three to five days.

The accident caused all trains on the line to stop for about ten minutes, as power was cut off during the rescue operation.

Okinawa Monorail Co. President Eiichi Kojo apologized for the accident. “We apologize to the public and promise to do our utmost to ensure the safety of all of our passengers,” Kojo said in a statement.

Following two similar accidents in the past, the company installed rubber hems to close the gap between the train cars and the station platforms, but there is still a gap of about 14 cm at some stations.

The accident comes at a bad time for the fledging rail company as it struggles to attract more passengers. The monorail needs 30,000 passengers a day in order to break even, but the number of people using the service has been going down after the initial novelty factor passed in November.

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