A KTX train sits derailed in a tunnel near Gwangmyeong Station, Gyeonggi Province, Friday. No one was seriously injured, but train operation was suspended for many hours. / Korea Times
By Kim Rahn
A bullet train derailed near Gwangmyeong Station in Gyeonggi Province at around 1:05 p.m. Friday, disrupting operations and causing inconveniences for passengers for many hours.
No major casualties were reported, with only one passenger sustaining a minor injury, said Korea Railroad (Korail), the train’s operator.
The high-speed KTX train, bound for Seoul from Busan 400, stopped in the tunnel about 300 meters from the Gwangmyeong station after the rear six cars out of the total 10 separated from the rails, according to Korail officials.
It is the first time that the bullet train has derailed, Korail officials said.
“We presume some malfunctioning in the railroad switching control system caused the accident. We are examining the exact cause of the accident,” said Kim Heung-sung, a spokesman for Korail. Kim said it seems that the train itself had no mechanical faults.
Among the 147 passengers onboard, a 63-year-old woman was taken to a nearby hospital for minor pain in her back. But no one was seriously injured as the train was going slowly to soon stop at the station.
The passengers had to walk to the station through the tunnel and were refunded their fares by the train operator.
As the train covered both northbound and southbound lines, operation of dozens of KTX trains in both directions was delayed. With the accident, bullet trains had to use the rails for lower-speed trains instead of the exclusive rails for KTX between Seoul and Daejeon.
Korail expects the railroads to return to normal by noon today. Korail has recommended people take other means of transportation until then. The train concerned was one of the “KTX-Sancheon,” models which was developed last year using domestic technology.
광명역 KTX 탈선…운행 중단으로 혼란
11일 오후 1시23분께 서울로 향하던 부산발 제224호 KTX 열차가 광명역을 300여m 앞둔 지점에서 탈선해 승객 1명이 다쳤다.사고는 열차가 광명역으로 진입하던 도중 덜컹거리다가 전체 10량 가운데 6량( 5~10번)이 선로에서 벗어나며 일어났다.
당시 열차에 탑승한 승객 147명 가운데 박모씨(63·여)가 사고 여파로 허리 통증을 호소해 인근 광명성애병원에서 치료받고 있다. 나머지 146명은 승무원의 안내로 선로를 따라 광명역까지 걸어서 대피한 뒤 열차권을 환불 받고 돌아갔다.
선로를 이탈한 열차가 상·하행선 선로에 걸쳐 있어 KTX 열차 운행이 전면 중단됐다. 이탈한 열차 가운데 한 곳은 객실과 객실 연결 구간 바깥면이 가로세로 2×1m 크기로 파손됐다.
승객 김모씨(36)는 "'쿵 쿵' 거리다가 갑자기 열차가 멈춰섰다. 열차에서 내리는데 타는 냄새가 나기도 했다"고 말했다. 소방당국은 사고가 나자 구급·구조차량 25대와 인력 100여 명을 현장에 급파, 만일의 사태에 대비했다.
KTX 열차는 현재 대전~서울까지 일반 철도로 운행되고 있다. 코레일과 경찰은 기관사 등을 상대로 정확한 사고경위를 조사 중이다.