Japan natives are in shock after a man on a moving train — which carried 800 passengers — committed suicide by setting himself on fire. An aggregate of two passengers were reported dead, and 20 others were injured as a result of the incident, according to the Verge.
Early Tuesday morning, a train driver who was traveling 50 miles southwest of Tokyo had to execute an emergency stop after a man, 71 — whose name has not been released to the public — poured a flammable liquid onto his clothing and set himself on fire using a cigarette lighter.
At least 8 people injured, 2 seriously, after a man set himself on fire on a bullet train in Japan, say officials http://t.co/ugyR2w3qEs
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) June 30, 2015
“We have been informed that there was a passenger in a car on the train who covered him or herself with oil and set it on fire,” said a spokesperson.
“In the very front of the first car, he emptied and sprinkled (liquid) from a plastic container… then he poured it on his body and set it alight,” said a man who witnessed the ordeal.
The man also told reporters that before he set himself on fire on the Japanese train, he had a brief conversation with him. He said: “He told me ‘Go to the back, it’s dangerous’. I wasn’t sure what was happening. I put my stuff away and thought about walking toward the back, then he pulled out a plastic tank.”
“Inside, there was an orange liquid. I thought it was suspicious. I asked him what it was. He said, ‘Never mind, never mind. Go to the back’.”
However, before committing suicide, the man who passengers said seemed “mentally disturbed” and appeared to be homeless gave nearly $1,000 away to other passengers saying, “I found some money. Take it.”
With passengers watching, the unnamed man set himself alight near the toilet area, which set off an explosion. According to New York Times, a woman said she “heard screams, and someone was shouting to the man before self-immolation, ‘There are children on board.’ ”
By the time the driver of the train came to a halt, it was too late. The unnamed man was already up in flames. Before the paramedics arrived, he used a fire extinguisher to put the flames out.
Surveillance footage showed passengers running out of the train in horror while some were unable to escape due to severe smoke inhalation. When paramedics arrived at the scene, they were seen carrying passengers out of the Japanese train on gurneys, including one of the deceased.
A woman, who police officials identified as Yoshiko Kuwahara, 52, a physical therapist from Yokohama, was found dead in the back of the train.
Japan police officials are unclear as to why the man wanted to commit suicide on a moving train, but they are currently investigating the incident.
[Image courtesy of Handout / Getty Images]