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Frequent JR cable fires raise suspicions of serial arson

#We don't know who did these fires now.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/08/30/national/frequent-jr-cable-fires-raise-suspicions-serial-arson/#.VeRuAGyCjIU
japan times JIJI Aug 30, 2015

A recent series of cable fires at Japan Railway facilities in Tokyo has aroused a suspicion of serial arson, due to the abnormally high frequency of such incidents.
In only about 10 days through last Thursday, there were four trackside cable fire incidents. In addition, it came to light on Saturday that a transformer station’s cable had caught fire.
“Usually, cable fires happen once a year at most,” an official at East Japan Railway Co., or JR East, said. “So, the frequency is unusually high.”

The Metropolitan Police Department is investigating the incidents, without ruling out the possibility of serial arson, informed sources said.
Last Sunday evening a fire broke out at the JR East substation in Shinagawa Ward, burning a cable coating. A melted plastic bottle and what appeared to be burned tissue paper was found nearby, investigative sources said Saturday.

No one was supposed to be in the facility at the time. But a security camera captured images of man who police are now looking for, the sources said.

Two of the four cable fires occurred along the Yamanote Line on Thursday and the other two along the Tohoku Line on Aug. 16 and the Chuo Line on Aug. 18.

In the latest Yamanote Line fire, two 6,600-voltage cables and one communications cable were damaged.

Although a high-voltage power cable may catch fire due to malfunctioning equipment, there is no record of a fire being caused by a communications cable, a JR official said.


JR East suffers another cable fire, this time halting Yamanote Line service
japan times Aug 28, 2015 JIJI
http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2015/08/28/national/jr-east-suffers-another-cable-fire-time-halting-yamanote-line-service/#.VeRukmyCjIU
A cable fire hit East Japan Railway Co. again on Thursday, this time disrupting services on the Yamanote Line in central Tokyo and some other JR East train operations, and affecting a total of some 51,000 passengers.
No one was injured, according to the Tokyo Fire Department.
The fire started at two locations, both between Ebisu and Meguro stations, where electric and communications cables run beside the tracks of the Yamanote Line shortly past 1 p.m. and was brought under control around 1:50 p.m. The two sites are 20 to 30 meters apart.
JR East and the Metropolitan Police Department are investigating whether this was a spontaneous fire or arson.
The fire burned the covers of the cables. The power cable supplies electricity to stations and railway signals.
Following the fire, JR East suspended services on all sections of the busy loop line for about an hour. Operations resumed at 2:15 p.m.
Saikyo and Shonan Shinjuku Line operations were also halted temporarily between Osaki and Omiya Stations.
Among passengers who suffered inconvenience from the train suspensions, a 22-year-old female university student said, “August and September are the most important period for our job-hunting activities.
“I’m worried because there have been similar problems recently,” she said, adding, “My stomach aches as I’m afraid I’ll be late” getting to venues for employment exams or interviews, or other activities related to job-hunting.

On Aug. 18, an electric cable installed under an elevated track between Tachikawa and Kunitachi stations on JR East’s Chuo Line in Tokyo caught fire, disrupting services on the Ome Line, a branch of the Chuo Line, and some other lines.

Last Saturday, rapid train services between Tokyo and Takao stations on the Chuo Line were suspended due to a fire that burned the cover of a communications cable laid beside the track between Shinjuku and Nakano stations.

Arson feared in series of fires afflicting JR East
August 30, 2015 THE ASAHI SHIMBUN
http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/social_affairs/AJ201508300014

Repeated arson attacks may be responsible for cable fires along the tracks of East Japan Railway Co. (JR East) in Tokyo that have caused disruptions for more than 150,000 commuters since mid-August.
The Yamanote Line was put out of action Aug. 27 after two cable fires on the Chuo Line on Aug. 18 and 22. Each incident forced JR East to suspend services on busy commuter lines for hours.
It was learned on Aug. 29 that two additional fires, both minor, had occurred in Tokyo earlier this month.
The fires were extinguished without disrupting train services, but police found suspicious materials at one of the sites, reinforcing suspicions that an arsonist or a team of criminals is at work.
The first of the three major fires affected an electric cable installed under an elevated track of the Chuo Line in Tachikawa, western Tokyo, on the evening of Aug. 18, disrupting six lines and affecting 79,000 commuters.
On Aug. 22, a fire burned a communication cable beside the tracks of the Chuo Line in Nakano Ward, disrupting the line’s rapid train services and affecting a further 25,000 passengers.
The last of the three major fires burnt electric and communication cables running beside the Yamanote Line in Shibuya Ward on Aug. 27. That time 51,000 people on three lines were affected.
“The possibility of arson should not be ruled out,” a senior transport ministry official said of the fires Aug. 22 and 27.
The two minor fires occurred on the JR Tohoku Line on Aug. 16 and at the company’s substation in Tokyo on Aug. 23, according to JR East and Tokyo police.
In the predawn hours of Aug. 16 a passer-by reported to JR East that smoke was rising from a cable running along the tracks of Tohoku Line near a crossing in Kita Ward, and company officials later confirmed the covering of a cable had caught fire.
Then, on the evening of Aug. 23, a burnt plastic bottle was discovered next to tissue papers at JR East's substation in Shinagawa Ward after objects were found burning in the facility's compound.
Surveillance footage showed a man prowling in the area, and police are trying to determine if the individual was involved in the fire.
Communication cables are usually installed alongside tracks while high-voltage electricity cables are installed overhead with power supply lines hanging over trains on most routes, according to JR East officials.

But the company has gradually relocated overhead utility wires to the ground for ease of maintenance over the past two decades.
The cables are usually buried underground, but they are often installed on walls alongside tracks in urban areas, making them easier for potential arsonists to target.
“The limited amount of land available has made the situation inevitable,” said a company spokesperson.

JR East started covering vulnerable wires with fire-retardant sheets on Aug. 27, following the Yamanoto Line fire. Wire fences have also been installed to protect cables along tracks from intruders at vulnerable locations.

But train system experts said these stopgap measures will not fundamentally solve the problem.

“There is no ultimate measure to prevent malicious arsonists, so the company needs to reduce the risk (of accidents disrupting its services) by multiplying power supply networks and switching to wireless communication signals,” said Satoru Sone, a specially appointed professor at Kogakuin University in Tokyo.

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上記広告は1ヶ月以上更新のないブログに表示されています。新しい記事を書くことで広告を消せます。