Fire set by rider on Japanese bullet train quickly put out

November 8, 2021 GMT

TOKYO (AP) — A rider on a Japanese super-express train started a fire on the floor that was quickly put out by fellow passengers Monday morning and didn’t cause injuries, police said. The suspect allegedly wanted to imitate an attack on Tokyo commuter train a week ago that caused several injuries.

The suspect sprinkled liquid on the floor, lit a piece of paper with his lighter and dropped it on the the aisle floor next to his seat as the Kyushu Shinkansen “bullet” train was traveling from the Kumamoto station to the Shin-Yatsushiro station in southern Japan, according to Kumamoto prefectural police official Tsuneo Kitada.

The fire caused a small burn on the floor as passengers quickly put it out, while the train conductor alerted police. They jumped onto the train as soon as it stopped at the next station. The suspect, who was quietly seated and did not resist, was arrested on suspicion of attempted arson, Kitada said.


Police said Kiyoshi Miyake, 69 and from Fukuoka, told them he tried to imitate an attack on Oct. 31, when a man like the Joker comic villain set fire on a Tokyo commuter train car after knifing a passenger. Sixteen other people were injured while escaping, mostly from inhaling smoke from the fire.

Recent cases on the train have prompted review of emergency procedures and safety of Japanese train services.

In August, the day before the Tokyo Olympics closing ceremony, a man stabbed 10 passengers on a Tokyo commuter train in a random burst of violence.