Four killed as train derails in Japan


An express train travelling through strong winter winds derailed in northern Japan, killing four people and injuring 33, officials said today.

All six cars of the train - reportedly travelling up to 62mph - derailed last night and three of the cars toppled onto their sides in Yamagata state, about 180 miles north of Tokyo, train operator JR East Co said.

A 34-year-old man - believed to be the last passenger inside - was found dead early this morning, a Yamagata police spokesman said.  Rescuers pulled the bodies of three other passengers - two women aged 22 and 51, and another man, 42, - from the wreckage.

It was unclear how many passengers were on the train, but rescuers and police believe there are no other people inside. Rescuers planned to lift the wreckage to make sure there was no one trapped beneath it.

The injured have been taken to hospitals but none are in life-threatening condition. Most of the injured passengers were riding in the first two cars, he said.