U.S. Soldier Helps Passengers Escape Train Wreck

By Capt. James Williams III, 1st Signal Brigade Public AffairsSeptember 6, 2013

Staff Sgt. Steven Royster Leaving Hospital
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Broken Glass from a KTX Passenger Car
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SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA -- A U.S. Army sergeant with the 36th Signal Battalion, 1st Signal Brigade, broke through a window to help passengers escape when two trains collided south of Seoul Aug. 31.

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," said Royster. "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," said Royster. "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, which 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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