A 24-year-old man dressed as the comic book character the Joker attacked passengers on a Tokyo train line on Sunday (October 31) evening, injuring 17 people as many party-goers headed into the city centre for Halloween gatherings, media reported.
Police arrested the suspected attacker on the spot, media reported.
A man believed to be in his 60s was unconscious and in critical condition after being stabbed, while witnesses also said the attacker had spread fluid around the train and started a fire, according to media.
One video uploaded on Twitter showed a steady stream of people running away from a train car where, seconds later, a blaze lit up.
Another video showed passengers rushing to squeeze out of the train’s windows and onto the platform where the train had made an emergency stop.
One witness told the Yomiuri newspaper he thought it was a “Halloween stunt,” recalling the moment he saw passengers running in a panic towards his train car.
He said he then saw a man “slowly waving a long knife” with blood on it.
Local media reported later that the suspect told authorities he “wanted to kill people so he could be sentenced to death.”
The attack occurred on the Keio express line bound for Shinjuku, the world’s busiest rail station, at around 8 p.m. (1100 GMT), media said.
Partial service on the Keio line remained suspended late on Sunday, when Japanese voters went to the polls in an election for the lower house of parliament.
(Production: Hedy Beloucif)