17 people injured in Tokyo train attack

Courtesy of a passenger
Passengers evacuate from a Keio line train car.

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — Seventeen people suffered injuries in an attack on a train in Tokyo by a 24-year-old man on Sunday evening, with one of the victims, a man in his 70s, unconscious and in critical condition after being stabbed in the chest.

The 17 people were sent to hospital. The 16 people, excluding the stabbed man, are in the age group of 10 to 69 years, and their injuries are not life-threatening. Tokyo’s Metropolitan Police Department is investigating details of the attack.

The suspect, Kyota Hattori, was arrested by police officers who rushed to the scene on suspicion of attempted murder. His occupation and address are not known. Hattori told the police, “I wanted to be executed by killing people,” according to investigative sources.

Around 8 p.m. (11 a.m. GMT), police received an emergency call reporting that a man is swinging an edged tool on a train on the Keio Line of railway operator Keio Corp. . The phone call was made by a person on the inbound rapid train when it was traveling in the city of Chofu, a suburb of the Japanese capital.

According to the investigation headquarters set up at the MPD’s Chofu Police Station, Hattori stabbed the man in his 70s, who was sitting in car No. 3 of the train, in the right chest with an edged tool with a blade of about 30 centimeters.

Hattori then moved to car No. 5 and released what appeared to be oil from a plastic bottle and set fire to the liquid. The floor and seats of the car were burned. He was captured in car No. 2.

Hattori told the police that he bought the edged tool on an online shopping site. He also said that he would be sentenced to death if he kills two or more people, adding that he committed the assault by learning from an incident on a train on Odakyu Electric Railway Co.’s Odakyu line in Tokyo’s Setagaya Ward in August, in which a man with an edged tool and cooking oil injured 10 passengers.

Hattori did not carry a mobile phone or any identification, such as a driver’s license, with him when he was arrested. He had thousands of yen at the time.

The incident occurred when the train from Keio-hachioji Station to Shinjuku Station was traveling between Chofu and Meidaimae stations. The train stopped at Kokuryo Station on the Keio Line after a passenger pressed an emergency button.

An official of Keio Corp. said that smoke came from an area near a priority seat on the train and that it smelled like gasoline.

A woman, 46, from Tokyo’s Edogawa Ward who was on the train described the horror of the incident.

Courtesy of a passenger
Passengers are seen inside a Keio line train car.

When she was sitting, about 10 to 20 passengers suddenly rushed into her car from the next car, shouting “emergency” and “run,” the woman said.

She did not know what happened but soon saw a man believed to be the suspect come and start to threaten passengers around him with an edged tool in his left hand and a plastic bottle containing a clear liquid in his right hand.

As the man was about to release the liquid, the woman realized the danger and ran to the next car with other passengers, she said.

After reaching the end car, she ran out of a door that was open and saw the man captured on a train car filled with smoke.

“I was very scared that such an incident happened around me,” she said in a trembling voice.

Another passenger Ryo Yoshida, a 34-year-old musician from Hachioji, Tokyo, saw the suspect sitting with a lit cigarette in his hand.

After moving to the next car and hearing someone say that the suspect has an edged tool, Yoshida escaped the train from a window.

Yoshida said: “I recalled the incident on the Odakyu train. I thought I would be stabbed, too.”

A 21-year-old female passenger noticed the emergency as she saw other passengers upset.

Thinking that she would be killed, the woman texted her mother to convey her gratitude for raising and caring for her.

She later escaped the train safely and reported it to the mother, while telling a passenger crying nearby, “You are all right.”

A video taken by a 32-year-old corporate worker who was also on the Keio train showed many passengers trying to flee in a panic.

The video showed flames rising, people shouting “it’s burning” and “let’s get off the train,” and an alarm going off.

The corporate worker said he saw the captured man before the arrest. The man was “wearing glasses and sitting quietly,” he said.