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Man sets himself alight on Japanese bullet train

Several other passengers had to be treated for smoke inhalation

Source: euronews (in English)/YouTube

A MAN SET himself on fire on board a moving bullet train in Japan, taking his own life and killing one other person, in an unprecedented incident on a network with an enviable safety record.

Several other passengers had to be treated for smoke inhalation.

The man doused himself in flammable liquid around 70 kilometres southwest of Tokyo.

The Yomiuri Shimbun daily said a blast was heard from a toilet stall at the front of the train, filling the front carriage with choking white smoke, and provoking an emergency stop.

Media reported that the driver of the 300-kilometre-per-hour train, which had around 1,000 passengers on board, found the still-burning body of the man after the emergency stop.

The train involved in today’s incident — a super-fast Nozomi bullet train — was travelling from Tokyo towards Osaka, when the blaze erupted near Odawara, southwest of the capital.

“We received information indicating that a fire broke out near a toilet and two people were in cardiopulmonary arrest,” a spokesman for Odawara Fire Department said. The term is often used by first responders in Japan, who are unable to officially certify someone as dead.

NHK reported the two dead were found on the floor of the front car, but at opposite ends of the carriage.

Broadcaster NTV said the dead man was 71-years-old, while local officials said the other deceased was a woman.

An official at the local disaster prevention office said one man remained in a serious condition, while three others were badly hurt.

The national Disaster Management Agency said about 20 others had to be treated for the effects of smoke inhalation.

© – AFP 2015

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