71-year-old Japanese man sets himself on fire on train, 2 dead

ANADOLU AGENCY
TOKYO
Published 30.06.2015 12:20
Updated 30.06.2015 16:03
Passengers wait for the resumption of a Shinkansen bullet train service inside a train bound for Osaka, at Odawara station in Odawara, west of Tokyo June 30, 2015 (Reuters Photo)
Passengers wait for the resumption of a Shinkansen bullet train service inside a train bound for Osaka, at Odawara station in Odawara, west of Tokyo June 30, 2015 (Reuters Photo)

A 71-year-old man set himself alight on a Japanese bullet train Tuesday, killing himself and a female passenger.

Kyodo News agency reported firefighters as saying that a total of 26 other passengers were injured, two of them seriously, when the man doused himself in oil and sparked it with a lighter in the carriage at the front of the train.

It is not clear whether the woman died from burns related to the incident, or from smoke inhalation.

Images broadcast by Tokyo Broadcasting System television showed the carriage filled with pale smoke after the fire had been extinguished.

The man is reported to have offered a 1,000 yen ($8) note to a female passenger, telling her to leave before setting himself ablaze.

The Central Japan Railway Co. said the 16-carriage Shinkansen bullet train-carrying around 1,000 people -- was forced to make an emergency stop after white smoke was detected in car No. 1, around 11.30 a.m. (0330GMT).

It added that an emergency alarm had sounded as smoke filled a car, sending the majority of passengers scampering to other coaches.

The transport ministry said the train's driver had attempted to extinguish the fire, Kyodo reported.

The service had left Tokyo Station and was bound for Shin-Osaka Station in western Japan.

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