On Sunday, October 31, a man costumed as Batman villain the Joker was detained after allegedly slashing ten passengers on a Tokyo commuter train.
Before setting fire to the carriage, the attacker sprayed what appeared to be oil around it, sparking panic among several occupants.
During the attack, which took place on the Keio express line destined for Shinjuku, Japan’s busiest rail station, it was also stated that hydrochloric acid was thrown.
One female student is reported to have been gravely injured, while at least nine others sustained non-life threatening injuries.
The 26-year-old man allegedly claimed police he grew enraged when he spotted ladies who ‘looked happy’ and intended to kill them, according to local media reports.
A video posted on Twitter shows a steady line of people fleeing a train car where a fire broke out seconds later.
Another video showed passengers running out of the train’s windows and onto the platform where the train had come to a halt.
‘I believed it was a Halloween stunt,’ one witness told the Yomiuri newspaper, describing the panicked rush of other passengers towards his train car.
‘Then I noticed a man slowly walking this direction, waving a large knife.’
According to the witness, there was blood on the knife.
According to Kyodo News, one man in his 60s or 70s lost consciousness after being stabbed.
Police have yet to ascertain whether or not hydrochloric acid was sprayed on the train.
‘I heard a big blast and saw flames and smoke in the back,’ a male passenger claimed. ‘Everyone was in a frenzy,’ says the narrator.
According to NHK, the attacker, a 24-year-old guy, was apprehended on the spot and is being probed.
Witnesses documented the tragedy on social media, and television footage showed firefighters, police officers, and paramedics rescuing passengers.
After the train doors failed to open immediately when it came to a stop, many passengers escaped through the windows.
Officers were spotted entering the railway car where the suspect was sitting and the man did not resist arrest.
The individual was dressed as a character, according to sources. The cause for the incident was not immediately clear, although it occurred on a train with ten carriages going towards Shinjuku in central Tokyo.
It’s the second knife assault on a Tokyo train in two months, after a 36-year-old man stabbed ten passengers on a Tokyo commuter train in a random burst of violence the day before the Tokyo Olympics’ closing ceremony in August.