On June 10, Japanese underground railway network Tokyo Metro made an official statement about an incident in which a woman, who fell onto the Hibiya subway line at Roppongi station, was mistaken for hand luggage by the employee on duty at the time. Not realizing the full seriousness of the matter, the station employee then gave the go ahead for the train, which was stationary at the platform at the time, to continue forward on to its next destination.

The incident occurred on June 9 at 9:25 p.m.. As to exactly how the poor woman ended up on the line, reports suggest that it happened when she was attempting to board the train itself. It is believed that fell between the 25-centimeter gap that separated the train and the platform. Miraculously, she fell into an area by the side of the track that is designed for emergency purposes.

The woman was also accompanied by a friend at the time who shouted at the top of her voice, “There’s been an incident on the track,” however the station employee made the snap judgement that what had fallen on the line was little more than a bag of some kind. After giving the okay signal for the train to proceed forward, he explained to the distressed friend that he would recover the luggage that fallen onto the track later.

As soon as the train had made its departure, the employer brought with him a “magic hand” (a tool used to recover fallen property from the tracks) and asked the friend of the woman, “Whereabouts did the luggage fall?” In response to which the woman replied, “What fell onto the track was a human being!”

The station employee is believed to have only started working in April of this year and had been given work duties on the Roppongi line for a month and a half before the incident occurred.

Tokyo Metro expressed its deepest regret at the latest incident and stressed that it would strive to prevent any further recurrence in the future by giving rigorous guidance to its employees.

Source: Jiji.com