UPDATE Saturday, 19th 18:15 (JST): Added the video.
Along the Hankyu railway tracks next to Tsukaguchi station in Amagasaki there was a rather large fire that burnt down 2000 square meters of commercial buildings. The Tsukaguchi Chuo Market consisted of a few restaurants and food stalls all of which burnt down by my observation. There was a small standing bar in the market which I had been to a few times.
The fire was first reported to authorities sometime after 2AM Friday morning. Danger from the fire along with the hoses and firefighting crews blocking the tracks lead the Hankyu Kobe line to be delayed for over an hour. Once trains started running again at 6:30 the stations were full of passengers waiting to get to work. They were also only running local trains. It only took me a few more minutes to arrive at my job, but it took a coworker over an hour to complete a 20 minute commute. For the both of us and all of the people heading into Osaka from Kobe, got a taste of the Tokyo commute this morning. It was packed, painfully so.
Thankfully no one was hurt or killed in the fire although 20 people living in nearby buildings have been evacuated. The cause is still under investigation.
The Hankyu trains are still running slowly or off schedule. Please be aware of this if you're traveling along the Kobe line today.
Links in Japanese
Asahi-TV (video): http://news.tv-asahi.co.jp/ann/news/web/html/210218012.html
NHK (video): http://www.nhk.or.jp/news/html/20110218/t10014136351000.html
Kobe Shimbun: http://www.kobe-np.co.jp/news/jiken/0003811396.shtml
Hankyu Railway Information Page: http://rail.hankyu.co.jp/railinfo/
尼崎 塚口駅 火事 阪急電車