MORIOKA (majirox news) — A JR Kamaishi Line train was stopped twice Aug 27, first after hitting a bear, then shortly afterward when it slammed into a Japanese serow, East Japan Railway Co. Morioka Branch officials said, adding both animals were killed.
There were no injuries among the more than 50 passengers on the train, which was halted twice within an hour.
Officials said trains on the Kamaishi Line, which runs through mountainous terrain, often runs into animals living in the forests beside the tracks.
“It’s rare for the same train to hit two wild animals in succession, though,” a JR spokesman said.
The spokesman said the train struck the bear at 7:20 a.m. on Saturday while running through Kamaishi, then stopped briefly after it hit the animal. The train resumed operations, but after traveling on for about 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) to the neighboring Iwate prefecture city of Tono, it crashed into the serow, a kind of goat-antelope, killing that animal as well, and forcing the train to halt its journey again.
The deadly trip caused service delays of up to two hours on Kamaishi Line trains.