Aus­tralian MPs trapped on bul­let train

Townsville Bulletin - - Inside Today -

FIVE Aus­tralians MPs were safe in Tokyo last night af­ter be­ing trapped on a bul­let train that ground to a halt fol­low­ing the earth­quake.

The fed­eral Lib­eral mem­ber for Fad­den on the Gold Coast, Stu­art Robert said he and four other MPs were on the train when the earth­quake hit.

Mr Robert said he was with La­bor MPs Stephen Jones and Amanda Rishworth, Lib­eral Sen­a­tor Michaelia Cash and Vic­to­rian La­bor MP Natalie Hutchins.

The t r a i n had s t o p p e d about 200km out­side Tokyo.

He said mil­lions of Ja­panese com­muters would be stranded on trains through­out the coun­try, in­clud­ing in the cap­i­tal Tokyo.

‘‘ Ob­vi­ously, food and wa­ter on board trains were an is­sue. There was none on board the train,’’ he said.

Mr Roberts had tweeted: ‘‘ Ap­proach­ing four hours stuck on the bul­let train, an­other train stuck be­side us, at least lights are still on, peo­ple very calm around us.’’

He said the group was in J a p a n o n a l e a d e r s h i p ex­change pro­gram.

Mr Jones, the fed­eral La­bor mem­ber f o r Throsby i n NSW, said the mood on the train had been ‘‘ re­mark­ably calm’’ given the fright­en­ing cir­cum­stances.

‘‘ You have got to hand it to the Ja­panese peo­ple. They are re­ally tak­ing this in their stride,’’ he said.

Asked how long he had ex­pected to re­main on the train, he said he didn’t know.

‘‘ Trans­port in and around Tokyo has all ground halt,’’ he said.

He said any dis­com­fort he felt ‘‘ re­ally doesn’t mat­ter when you com­pare it with the dev­as­ta­tion in Tokyo and fur­ther north, so we re­ally have noth­ing to com­plain about’’.

Ms Rishworth, the fed­eral mem­ber f or Kingston i n South Aus­tralia, said the train was a long way from the epi­cen­tre, but rum­bled when the quake hit.

Qantas has de­layed three flights fol­low­ing the quake.

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