A train derailed and hit a building in Japan, killing 73 people and injuring 450.
The incident happened at Amagasaki near Osaka, shortly after the morning rush hour.
A second passenger train derailed on Tuesday, after hitting a truck north of Tokyo.
The Japanese railway system is used by nearly 60 million people every day and is considered to be one of the world's safest, with a reputation for punctuality.
Did you witness the Amagasaki crash? Do you usually use that train line?
This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.
The following comments are among those we have received so far:
This highlights the dangers of the high pressure on drivers - they will lose their annual bonuses and be chastised severely, if they are a minute late.
Stefhen Bryan, Amagasaki, Japan
It's a terrible accident and JR should be held responsible, not just blaming the young driver and stones on the tracks. The young man was facing serious penalties for a delay. He wouldn't have been going with that speed otherwise.
Lubomir Vatchkov, Nagoya, Japan
We have a young woman staying with us from Osaka. This train is the one she normally catches to work, getting off two stops further along. Just last night she heard from her family that one of her friends is amongst the victims. Our thoughts and best wishes go out to all the families of those caught up in this tragic event.
Glen Kimberley, Perth, Western Australia
I live in Osaka, very close to Amagasaki, where the train crashed. My girlfriend works for JR, therefore I know the bad work conditions and pressure the JR workers are under. For example, for schedule reasons many train drivers can't even get three hours of sleep several times a week. Punctuality is always a must and not just drivers, but all the workers are threatened and subject to big penalties if held responsible for a train delay. Japan Railways fails to realise that such conditions are not just putting in danger its employees but also all of the users' lives. Ironically, it's well known among the employees that this obsession for punctuality over safety contrasts with the lack of a manual in case of delay: everything is just left to the driver, that usually speeds up the train to get back the time lost over a schedule that has already been built over the limits of safety.
Eric Rodriguez, Osaka, Japan
Any word of the people in the apartment building? This hits home because I used to live in a tiny apartment building in Amagasaki next to the tracks of the Hankyu Kobe line. Nothing happened but it was noisy.
Julie Foster, French Gulch, CA, USA
Our thoughts are with everyone involved and everyone affected by this horrible disaster.
Paddington Survivors Group, UK
I have visited Tokyo several times on holiday and always found the railways to be punctual, clean and very efficient - this tragedy is very shocking and I hope that lessons are learned and my sympathies go out to those affected.
Dave, Southampton, UK
My friend was on the crashed train. He said that it was like hell. People with broken legs and bleeding were lying around everywhere. I understand that obviously the Japanese rail system is one of the safest transportation systems, however, it is up to the people managing the system.
Yasuhito Arai, Tokyo
I have always respected Japan for its advanced and impressive railway system. It's quite shocking for such an incident to happen, with people dead, and injuring so many. I hope the authorities could determine the real cause of the accident as soon as possible and be able to maximize the railway system's safety. My sincere condolences to the families who lost their loved ones in the train accident, and I pray for a quick recovery for the injured victims.
Padme, Manila, Philippines
My wife returned to her home town of Takaruzuka last Thursday. Her sister took the day off on Monday to spend time with her. She usually catches that train to work every day. She is extremely lucky not to be one of the unfortunate casualties. Our hearts go out to their families and friends.
Paul Croft, Worthing, West Sussex
I had never witnessed such an awful tragedy. I use the same line every day from and to my work. Had it occurred a bit later, I could not have escaped from the accident. I had never imagined that such accidents could happen in Japan because I believed that the Japanese railway system is the safest in the world. Now, I am very much afraid of using the same line but I have no other options to travel to and from my work everyday. From now onwards, I never use first five cars. They are very dangerous.
Pushpa Ghimire, Higashi-Konoike, Osaka, Japan
It is a pity that the Japanese government (and others all over the world) allow someone as young as 23-years-old to take such a big and demanding responsibility. It shouldn't be allowed to happen because younger minds easily get excited or distracted. There should have been someone to assist. This, of course is spoiling Japan's record on safety.
Elias Matinde, Sendai, Japan
At least a few times a year I use this line and pass by the exact accident site because my parents live in this area. Coincidently I, my wife and two daughters are planning to visit my parents for vacations tomorrow. So I am so shocked this tragedy happened at a very familiar location to me just before our visit.
About 10 years ago, the Kobe earthquake demolished my parents' house, and luckily they survived. This time again people in this region, including my parents and relatives, have to go through such a tragedy. I would like to send my condolence to the families who lost their loved ones. I pray from Tokyo for my home town.
Tatsuya Matsubara, Tokyo, Japan
The intensity and complexity of Japan's urban rail system has to be seen to be believed. It is a testament to the superb planning and organization by the authorities that many more of these horrendous accidents do not occur, but this in no way makes up for the tragedy of the Amagasaki crash, however.
James Goater, Nagoya, Japan
I use that train line every Monday and get off at the station before Amagasaki. I too was surprised at this - Japan's rail system is definitely the safest I've ever been on, but I guess accidents can still happen.
James O'Connell, Osaka, Japan
Let us all pray that this never happens again.
Andrew Campbell, Yokkaichi, Japan
I visited Japan for the first time in February to visit my daughter who teaches with the JET program. We depended on their excellent train system for transportation. I felt much safer (and would still) on their trains than on highways in the US and Europe. Our hearts and prayers go out to the Japanese people in this time or loss.
Jim, Louisville, USA
I was stunned when I heard the news yesterday because the place where the train crashed was so close to my hometown and I know that my sister and mum often take a train on that line. Fortunately, I soon found out that they didn't take the crashed train, but I'm still in a state of shock. Such a tragedy. It is so cruel. The root cause should be analyzed asap and JR company should make a appropriate compensation for the people who lost their lives and their families.
My heart goes out to all the victims and their family and friends. I work near Amagasaki everyday. I was shocked to hear the news. Unfortunately, the usual punctuality that is highly valued in Japan might have been taken beyond the limit to a fault. Trying to make up for 90 seconds is not worth the death of more than 70 people.
Michael Haase, Osaka, Japan
I lived in Tokyo for over one year, caught the train at least twice a day and I think one train was late by a minute or two. The contrast here is stark and hopefully the investigation will shed light on the cause.
Although Japan has one of the most advanced railway systems in the world, the competition on punctuality should not be at the price of people's lives. Society should not blame the railway operator, but the whole industry should learn from this.
As someone who uses the trains nearly every day in Japan, I marvel at the efficiency, the connections and the convenience. I usually do so to the detriment of the railways in my home country of the UK, especially with the recent safety record there. I didn't expect to here of an such an accident in Japan, but sadly, they do happen and my sympathies go out to all those affected.
Nick Ashton, Ise, Japan
I have been riding Japanese trains for seventeen years, and never have I heard about or witnessed a train crash. To those who have any doubt about the train systems here, they are state of the art.
Sean, Kobe, Japan
I lived in Britain for five years and during my stay, some dreadful train crashes happened there, including the tragedy at Paddington station. I never thought a similar kind of accident would happen back home, where they have a good reputation in transport. Now I'm truly shocked and feeling that a reputation doesn't count at all when this kind of thing happens.
T Nakata, Yokohama, Japan
I was in the next train to that, my train stopped suddenly and I needed to get off. I did not know until I arrived at my office. If I had woken up a bit earlier...
Ca, Kobe, Japan
Me and my Japanese wife send our deepest sympathy to the families of the victims of the Amagasaki rail tragedy.
The tragedy only shows nothing is perfect even in a country touted to have one of the world's safest railway systems. But definitely, industry people should learn from the tragedy. My heart goes out to the victims and their families.
Nanette Guadalquiver, Iloilo City, Philippines
This must definitely be a setback in Japan's race against the railroads of France, Germany and
Ten years after the horrific Hanshin Earthquake, the region gets hit again with this terrible accident. I'm sure it's an emotional blow to all of Kansai as many of the victims are surely to be young commuters heading into Kobe and Osaka for their studies.
Ron Webster, Portland, USA
Maybe the pressure of punctuality, the loss of face caused by a delay is the real problem. This, combined with super-tight schedules is in effect, a disaster waiting to happen.
Gerhard Otten, Frankfurt, Germany
My daughter has just recently moved to Japan and has really enjoyed train transportation there. My heart sank when I woke up to the news of the crash. I am praying for the families of the injured and dead. I was thankful to hear she was not on the train but so sad for the others who were.
Andrea Robinson, Valdosta, USA
When you push people and machines to their limit, you will sooner or later exceed them often with tragic results. It's a lesson that seems to have to be learned again and again.
When I was opening my PC and accessing the news site yesterday morning, the news of the terrible accident appeared. I have never seen such a terrible accident involving a train. Many people were injured or dead, it's the mostly regrettable accident. I wish it will never happen again, such a bad accident.
HK, Tokyo, Japan
I use the Japanese rail system in Tokyo every day (and have been since last August). Even after reading about this tragedy I had no fear commuting home today. Though they aren't cheap, the trains in Japan are reliable and quite safe. Riding can be bothersome during commuting hours when one is likely to be pressed against others, but I don't particularly mind it.
Joe Silvagni, Tokyo, Japan
I have been on this line many times since moving to Osaka. I was shocked to learn of this horrific tragedy, especially since I live only 20 miles from the disaster and have never witnessed an accident involving trains (except for unfortunate suicides). I truly hope that those who survived will combine their voices to be heard in a country where, although safety is common, money and efficiency are the most important factors to business minded people.
Adrienne W, Sakai, Osaka Japan
The platform where I catch my train has another train that comes in from the countryside. After standing jam-packed for an hour, you see the train doors open and a thousand people come dashing out, racing across the platform to clamour for seats on the connecting subway. There is no smiling on the trains. There is a feeling of desperation. This is normal - Monday to Friday.
Chris Kozak, Tokyo, Japan
I have travelled regularly on the trains in Japan and used this line four weeks ago. This is a terrible tragedy but Japan is the one country that I would trust more than any other to deliver me to my destination safely and efficiently. I'm sure that they will find out the cause of this terrible event and act upon any relevant findings. There appears to me to be a culture of doing things properly in Japan, which makes this event even more surprising.
David Francis, England
I, like millions of others around the country, rely on trains every day to commute to my university. Late trains are a rare occurrence in this country - something the rail system here is famed worldwide for. The irony of this is the efficiency of Japan Rail has caused this accident: A driver trying to meet his schedule after being only a minute behind has resulted in the loss of over 50 lives. The line which the train crashed connects onto the one I use daily: I will take heed to solemnly remember this from now on whenever a train I am waiting for runs behind schedule.
Fred Taylor, Osaka, Japan
There is one comment nobody seems to be mentioning about the terrible crash in Japan - how close the building had been built to the line. Rail is extremely good for directional stability but accidents can happen, and wise design allows for it. The building should not have been allowed to be built so close - the more so with the earthquake propensity in Japan. We just hope they can recover.
Chris Northedge, Basildon, UK
The JR line bound for Amagasaki was closed for the day; commuters were directed to use the Hankyu Line going in that direction instead - on my way to Kyoto this evening I noticed that passengers were allowed to use their JR commuter train passes to reach home. Order is returning but there seemed to be great tension in the air hanging heavily around Osaka/Umeda today with people reading the shocking headlines and with the repeated announcements coming from the speakers about the roadblock and the continued work at the crash site.
JY Mima, Osaka, Japan
Whilst I completely acknowledge the terrible tragedy which has occurred in Japan today, surely it brings into question the obsession with punctuality/timekeeping, not only in Japan, but in general. Maybe employers/schools etc should realise that public transport will not always be on time - therefore the need for hurrying would be eliminated. I think it helps us to understand wider issues here in the UK too - more people would use public transport if they knew that allowances for lateness would be made.
Ellie, Bucks, UK
Different companies fighting for their own slots in the timetables and competing with each other for business is a recipe for disaster. Some services should never be privatised.
Richard Holie, Manchester, UK
I was taken by complete shock by this disaster when the news was broken by my classmates in the morning of 25 April 2005. I am an international student, a Ugandan by nationality. Common accidents here have involved trains colliding with cars. I am wondering what now remains of one of the world's safest trains. May all the souls of the deceased rest in internal peace!
Paga Rex Roy, Osaka, Japan
The first thing in the morning I usually do is switching BBC Breakfast on. This morning, I jumped up with this news. I have friends living in London and now they went back to Japan for their holiday. Their home town is very close to this tragic place. I have sent them an email asking if they were okay, but did not have reply yet. Very worried.
I just returned from Japan 5 days ago. I was up from jetlag and saw the news at 0130. I was in the vicinity (Akashi area) on 13 April. The train system amazes me. This is a huge tragedy. My heart goes out to those families who lost their loved ones. I took lot of pictures of trains in Japan. It is an amazing system. Even a near perfect system can go wrong.
Leslie Richard, California, USA
Are we seeing more tragic victims of privatization? The automatic braking system which should have slowed down the Japanese train is among the oldest in the nation - why had it not been updated? Was this a money-saving measure by Japan's railway system which used to be nationally owned, but has been privatized? Hasn't the number of train accidents grown in Britain too since the privatization of British railways?
Zeljko Cipris, Stockton, US
I have never seen such a grievous crash in my life. Moreover, the fact that most of victims in this crash are young students in university and high schools near Amagasaki gives me sadness that I cannot express in words.
Mitsu, Tokyo, Japan
This is horrible, I will never ride the train again.
Pewa, Kyoto, Japan
I was living in that area last year and occasionally passed through Amagasaki station. The train drivers seemed to behave meticulously. Not once did I notice a train that I travelled on arriving late. Because punctuality is so much more noticeable to passengers than operating to the highest safety standards, I wouldn't be surprised if there was a tragic trade-off in order to maintain that high standard.
Ben Caesar, Taipei, Taiwan
I am someone in the area who uses the line. Last night I had a friend who stayed over at my place. Had they not stayed over at my house, they would have been on that train as per usual. They are still trying to piece it together. My deepest sympathies go out to those who were less fortunate.
Paul Donald, Kobe, Hyogo, Japan
I was on a connecting line waiting for the express to go west. I heard the announcement that the train would be fifteen minutes late. It was not until eating lunch later that I caught the dreadful news. Kansai has already had enough disasters. It doesn't need any more.
C Harris, Kansai Japan
It is a very sad day in Japan. I have ridden this line while travelling to Kobe and Himeji many times and never imagined this type of thing could happen in Japan. The trains almost always travel quickly, even the subways in Osaka travel at 70+km/h and the tracks are sometimes bumpy. I just pray that a tragedy of this magnitude will make for a complete review of JR so this won't ever happen again.
James Harrington, Osaka, Japan
The Japanese train system is still very reliable in comparison to any other countries. But there is a "myth" of a train safety in Japan. This terrible accident reminds us that "myth" could collapse so easily.
Jun Morikawa, Reykjavik, Iceland
In Japan, if a train is delayed, it affects all train networks in the area. In addition, passengers would complain to the railway company if there was even a five minute delay. Moreover, trains run every four to five minutes at Fukuchiyama line (also called as 'JR-Takarazuka line'). Due to the development of Newtown in the Sanda area, the number of passengers is increasing, because many people commute to Osaka from Newtown over 40 kilometres! Japan has competition between JR and private railways. Between Osaka (Umeda) and Takarazuka, JR-Fukuchiyama line and Hankyu Takarazuka line (private) are in competition in speed, fare, and services. Because of overcrowding in the train car, people want to reduce journey time in commuting. I think this accident was caused by not only one cause, so we need to consider whole of railway system, especially for its safety!
Kazuo, Bournemouth, UK
I used to use that train for my commute some time ago; and still use that line about once a week. Returning to Japan after five years in London there is no doubt that Japan has a train system that leaves the English capital looking like a very poor relative indeed - but this tragedy has reminded us that even the best train systems can fail.
Justin Lindsay, Kobe, Japan
I am just lucky. That's all what I can say, I missed the train by around five minutes and that's the main reason of my being here. I don't have words to describe such a disaster where even the trains don't often get late. There's a saying that 'In Japan, if you are late by 20 seconds, then you would have missed the train exactly by 20 Seconds'. In such a country, how can anyone believe this disaster?
Krishna Prasad, Osaka, Japan
I work in a university near the site of the accident. Although I was not on the job today, co-workers have reported to me that the sounds of ambulance sirens and helicopters have been non-stop all day long. We are frantically trying to track down and confirm the safety of fellow workers and students. Although Japanese commuter trains are frequent, punctual and extremely efficient, overcrowding is a serious problem. In spite of this, the excellent safety record tends to lull one into a false sense of security. I think that this was an accident just waiting to happen. My heart goes out to the victims and their families, and I know that I won't sleep well until I can confirm the whereabouts of every one of my students.
Miko, Kobe City, Japan
I am a university student and I use that line everyday. Before I left my home for my school, I found out that an accident had occurred. I was surprised, and called my school office. The school decided to cancel all of today's classes. JR/Japan Railway is the only way to go to school for me. It is regrettable that this accident occurred in Japan, where is believed to have one of safest rail way system.
MT, Osaka, Japan
Trains are thought to be the safest mode of transport, but the various tragedies that have occurred all over the world bedevilled it. Kenyans have suffered several train accidents. I am sure they know the pain you are in.
Martin Ndung'u, Kampala, Uganda
Despite living in Tokyo, the crash has frightened everyone. The subway and train system is Japan's most used transportation, and especially in bustling Tokyo, it scares not only me, but those who ride the train everyday. I just pray to the unfortunate victims, and their families.
Arent Remmelink, Tokyo/Holland
I knew something was wrong when my train was more than three minutes late. Usually I can set my watch by the trains in Japan. Sometimes a train is delayed because of suicide. I assumed that someone had jumped and been killed. When I returned home I was shocked because Japanese station workers and drivers seem so dedicated and focused in their job. I feel sorry for families who have lost loved ones and the young driver of the train.
James Cassidy, Osaka, Japan
I feel sorry for everyone who was involved - massive tragedy.
Mika Raymond, England, UK
How terrible! It's strange, but I'm nervous about going home tonight on the train in Tokyo. My co-workers have been calling to check on our Osaka office all afternoon, but thank goodness no one was hurt. Suicide accidents are pretty common, but this is just unheard of.
Christine (Canadian), Tokyo, Japan
It's true that Japan has had an excellent safety record in the case of train accidents to date. One point that should be noted however is that trains in Japan are usually crammed to capacity with passengers and very little is done to consider their safety should a crash occur. Had the train not been so busy then maybe there would have been fewer casualties.
Jim, Tokyo Japan
It is such a tragedy. When I saw those pictures with people lying on the floor, I was shocked. It is well-known that Japan has the most wonderful transportation system especially the railway system, in the world. Lots commuters living in Japan rely on it. I wish they can investigate why it happened and that the Japanese will build a safer system.
I'm in Osaka on business (for the first time) and as I am due to fly out of Itami Airport tomorrow, I had thought to go up there this morning to meet a colleague coming in from Tokyo at 10:30 am (and check out how to get there) and this was the best line to use. Fortunately I decided not to in case I ended up missing my colleague. Walking past Osaka Station tonight I noticed there were a lot of train company officials outside talking to the people. I had spent the weekend sightseeing around the Kansai area, using the train network for transport. Ironically I'd just been telling my wife how efficient, clean and safe the system seemed to be by comparison to London.
Martin, Sandhurst, UK
My brother just e-mailed me. He arrived in Osaka just after the accident. Fortunately he came by the bullet train.
John B, Maidstone
I have visited Amagasaki a few times as I have a friend who lives near there. I travel on this train line nearly every time I visit and to know a train that I had once travelled on is involved in such a severe crash is upsetting. My friend is OK, luckily, I offer my greatest condolences to all the families who have lost loved ones in this crash.
Adam Streather, Bangkok, Thailand
I listened the news at around 11am, when there was the information of only two dead passengers. I was shocked even by that news as I had high faith in Japan's railway system. Now it has been 50 - breaking the history of past 40 years. In my case, I have been to Amagasaki half a dozen of times while heading towards western regions from Osaka. Difficult to say the feelings of the people around here who will pass by Amagasaki everyday. I live near by Suminodo, several stations far from Amagasaki on the way to Doshishamae where the train was heading for. Many students from my university use this line from Takarazuka to Suminodo. I have not yet listened any news regarding their casualties but am fearful.
Achyut Sapkota, Osaka, Japan
I just got back from work, this is the line I use everyday, including today. I actually nearly caught the train that crashed. I was at Nakayamadera station contemplating whether I should take the train but changed. To be honest it still hasn't really sunk in how close I came to taking that train, my decision was based on a whim.
Konrad, Takarazuka City, Japan
I used to live quite close to this accident site. There are three lines between Osaka and Kobe - the public JR, and the private Hanshin & Hankyuu lines, plus the 'bullet' Shinkansen line, all of which are incredibly busy all the time. The JR run a timetable to 15-second punctuality. I wouldn't be surprised if this driver was under threat of job loss to be on time....
Nick, Oxford, UK
Although this is a terrible tragedy, the overall record speaks for itself about the fine quality of the Japanese railway system, which many believe to be still the best in the world.
ASDR, Mississauga, Canada
I am an English language teacher in Japan. My city is right next to Amagasaki and it is just across the river from me. I normally use a parallel railway line, but I have used that line before. I am typing this in my school, many students use that line to go home. It is just an awful tragedy.
Alex Swallow, Brighton, England
I live a couple of stations away from Amagasaki, and should've been on my way to a meeting this morning that was fortunately cancelled last night. Amagasaki's 7mins from Osaka, and 14mins from Kobe on the train (on the JR/Japan Rail line), just near to Itami station (and Osaka airport).
It's pretty frightening that this could happen - any foreigner living in Japan, especially English people, will tell you what a godsend the train system is over here; punctual to the minute, and very rarely late. The safety record should be the world standard, and until today I'd never heard of a train accident in Japan. That an entire carriage could derail and plough into an apartment building, which practically line the entirety of the train line, is even more shocking.
Ollie, Kobe City, Japan
On my way to Japanese class this morning, I saw a JR (Japan Railways) emergency vehicle, and it was going full speed with the sirens on. I later learned about the crash. It is located about 15 minutes from where I live. I have used that line many times, especially to go to the Kobe H3 runs. We used it last maybe a month ago. Luckily, it is not one of the busiest lines around the Kobe-Osaka area. Had it happened on the line between these 2 cities, I'm pretty the death toll would have been much higher. In a country where late trains are a rarity, I was shocked to learn about it.
Jean-Yves, Osaka, Japan
I travel that line every day, and might possibly even have had been on that train if I'd had a lie-in this morning. That part of the line is just before a quite tight descending curve that usually causes people to lurch even on a normal morning. Thinking about it, once or twice I have felt the train a bit fast around that area, perhaps because the next stop, Amagasaki, is a rather busy station (8 platforms), so quite often if the train is only just a minute late during the rush hour, it can miss its slot resulting in a 5-10 minute delay waiting for a new slot.
Ken Yasumoto-Nicolson, Takarazuka, Japan
Some of my students were caught up in the crash. They had been going to Universal Studios Japan on a school trip. What started as, and should have been, a day of excitement has ended in terrible tragedy. The last information I heard, two were still to be accounted for. I have no doubt that as the students, come in to school tomorrow they will be very subdued and pensive.