A 71-year-old man set himself on fire on a high-speed train in central Japan Tuesday, killing himself and one other person.
It was the deadliest incident in the 51-year history of Japan’s famed “Shinkansen” bullet trains. At least 26 other passengers were injured, including two seriously.
The man’s motive was not clear. The incident came exactly a year and a day after a man set himself on fire near a busy train station in Tokyo to protest Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s defense policies, but there was no indication the two incidents were related.
According to local media, witnesses told police that the man in Tuesday’s incident walked to the front of the lead car in the passenger train, doused himself with a flammable liquid and told passengers to “run,” before igniting the liquid with a cigarette lighter.
The train came to a stop after a passenger pushed an emergency button. Firefighters and police found the man’s body just behind the locked and sealed door of the train driver’s compartment.
There was no indication that he attempted to enter the compartment or otherwise interfere with the operation of the train. The body of a woman described in her 50s was found at the back of the car.
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SOURCE: USA Today, Kirk Spitzer