Australian MPs trapped on bullet train
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.