Attempted arson by passenger on Shinkansen in Japan closes high-speed train line

Arsonist refers to Halloween night train crime in Tokyo.

Japan takes great pride in its rail network, which is not only one of the cleanest and most reliable in the world, but also one of the safest. It all goes double for high speed Shinkansen lines, which made an incident on Monday morning particularly shocking.

Shortly after 8:50 a.m., the Sakura 401 Shinkansen was heading south along the Kagoshima Road of Kyushu Shinkansen, on the island of Kyushu, in southwestern Japan. Some time after the train exited Kumamoto station, an elderly passenger in car number 3 started to pour liquid substance on the train floor. Then he took out a lighter and lit a wad of paper, then dropped the burning mass into the liquid, to try to turn it on.

The other passengers quickly fled to nearby cars when the alarm went off. Using a fire extinguisher, a driver was able to extinguish the fire before it spread and no passengers were injured. Police boarded the train and placed the man, later identified as Kiyoshi Miyake, 69, from Fukuoka city, under arrest for attempted arson. Regular service along the line resumed about an hour after the incident.

Miyake admitted to the charges, and while the exact liquid he was spilling was not reported, he made his intention clear. “I thought I would imitate what happened on the Keio line last month”, he told investigators, referring to an incident in which a man in costume on Halloween night started a fire on a commuter train in Tokyo.

Sources: NHK News Web via Jin, FNN Prime Online
Top image: Wikipedia / ロ リ
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