A photograph of a blood-stained, damaged nose of a bullet train is circulating on social media platforms with a claim that it shows the condition of a Japanese bullet train after it collided with an animal.
BOOM found the claim to be misleading. The photo dates back to 2018 and shows an incident where a bullet train got damaged after it hit a man inside a tunnel at Kitakyushu city in Japan.
The photograph is being shared amid multiple incidents of damage were reported to the Vande Bharat Express after the newly launched train made collisions with cattle on track. Railway Minister Ashwini Vaishnav, reacting on the incidents, said that the cattle collision on tracks is unavoidable especially when the trains run at high speeds. However, Vaishnav stressed that the train is sturdy and capable of withstanding accidents.
The Hindi caption with the photo takes a dig at the Indian Railways. The caption translates to, "Bullet train damaged by animal collision in Japan. But dogs don't bark in Japan because Japanese eat dogs as well..."
(Original Text in Hindi: जापान में जानवरों का टकराने से बुलेट ट्रेन क्षतिग्रस्त लेकिन जापान में कुत्ते भोंकते नहीं क्योंकि. जापानी कुत्तों को भी खा जाते हैं...)
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BOOM performed a reverse image search on the viral photo and found it on a Japanese media organisation Kyodo News report published on June 15, 2018.
According to the report, "A Nozomi shinkansen train bound for Tokyo hit a man, identified as a 52-year-old caregiver from Fukuoka Prefecture, between Hakata and Kokura stations in the southwestern Japanese prefecture at around 2 p.m. on Thursday. An unoccupied minivehicle was found on a road near the elevated railway track, which was accessible by a ladder and staircase, and there were signs of someone had intruded on the tracks. Police believe the man committed suicide. The train hit the man inside a tunnel in the city of Kitakyushu, about 17 kilometers from Kokura Station."
We also found another report by Japanese news organisation The Mainichi about the incident carrying a picture and a video of the damaged train published at that time.
The report states, "Fukuoka Prefectural Police found multiple human body parts near the Ishisaka tunnel in Yahata Nishi Ward of the Fukuoka Prefecture city of Kitakyushu. Investigators suspect that the remains belong to someone who entered the train track and was hit by the Nozomi No. 176 super express that left Hakata Station bound for Tokyo Station. Damage on the nose of the bullet train was spotted near Kokura Station in Kitakyushu at around 2:10 p.m."
The Japan Times reported that the Japanese government had then ordered West Japan Railway Co. to probe the reason behind the incident.
Images of the damaged bullet train can also be found on international stock photo website Getty Images. One such photo can be seen below.
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