Two people have died after a fire was started on the Japanese bullet train.
This is the first fatal incident the high speed rail network has had in its 50 years of service.
It is believed that a man in his 30s had boarded the first carriage, sitting at the front behind the driver’s cabin. Then without warning, he poured liquid from a plastic container on his head and then ignited it. A woman was also killed after being overcome by smoke.
Bullet train fire suicide—man sets himself ablaze:
According to The Guardian, Japanese media quoted a witness as saying the man, who has not been named, poured an oil-like substance over his head and set himself alight with a cigarette lighter about 30 minutes after the train, carrying 1,000 passengers, had left Tokyo en route to Osaka.
Man sets self on fire on Japan bullet train:
Passengers then rushed to escape the blaze in the first car of the train, and at least 10 people were injured, one of them seriously, Ryo Iwasaki, a spokesman for the Odawara fire department said. “The fire was started in or near the toilet area of the train car.”
“We received information indicating that a fire broke out near a toilet and two people were in cardiopulmonary arrest,” a spokesman said. “Other passengers were also injured.”
Two deaths reported after fire on Japan bullet train:
NHK reported: “Passengers said they heard what sounded like an explosion coming from a nearby toilet moments earlier,” as quoted by Japanese media.
It has not been determined why the man decided to kill himself on the train. The police have not yet released the names of the woman or the man that died on the train.