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NCO Helps Passengers Escape South Korea Train Wreck

By Capt. James Williams III

1st Signal Brigade Public Affairs

September 04, 2013

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Photo by Sgt. 1st Class Sarrah Price

AU.S. Army sergeant with the 36th Signal Battalion, 1st Signal Brigade, broke through a window to help passengers escape when two trains collided Aug. 31 south of Seoul, South Korea.

Staff Sgt. Steven Royster was aboard a high speed express train, known as KTX, when it was struck by a local train shortly after departing the Daegu train station.

“The train hadn’t even got up to full speed before we were hit and derailed,” Royster said. “The power went out and we were stuck, so I started breaking a window.”

Royster successfully broke through the window and, with the assistance of Mr. Kang Jang Yoon, helped several passengers through the window to safety.

“I want to give him (Kang) a thanks because he was the one who helped me communicate with the rest of the people and he was the one that took me to the hospital,” Royster said. “It was a good example of teamwork that represents the U.S.-Korean alliance.”

Royster suffered several deep lacerations to his hand and arm while breaking the window that required six stitches.

Reports state that a total of 870 passengers from both trains were safely evacuated, none of whom had life threatening injuries, and that 11 passenger cars derailed in the collision.

Royster is originally from Jacksonville, N.C., and is a seven-year veteran with an Iraq deployment under his belt. He is an information technology specialist currently working in cyber security with the 36th Signal Battalion Headquarters.

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