Ten passengers injured in Tokyo commuter train stabbing

Japanese police say the suspect, a man in his 20s, left a knife behind as he fled the scene and later handed himself in.

Police escort rescue workers carrying a person through a train station after a knife attack on a train in Tokyo [Reuters]

A man stabbed at least 10 passengers on a commuter train in Japan’s capital city Tokyo and fled, but was later captured by police, fire department officials and news reports said.

NHK public television said one passenger was seriously injured in the attack on Friday. It said the suspect left his knife behind as he fled and later gave himself up at a convenience store.

The Tokyo Fire Department said nine of the 10 injured passengers were taken to nearby hospitals, while the 10th was able to walk away. All of those injured were conscious, fire department officials said.

Violent crime is rare in Japan, and the attack comes with the capital on heightened security alert as it hosts the Olympic Games.

The stabbings took place on an evening train in Setagaya ward, in the west of the city.

One woman in her 20s sustained serious back injuries, public broadcaster NHK said, citing emergency response officials.

The site is several kilometres from the venue of Olympic equestrian events.

A train station staff member stands near passengers at the site where a stabbing incident occurred on a train, at the Soshigaya-Okura station of the Odakyu Electric Railway in Setagaya Ward, Tokyo [Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters]

A witness at a nearby station where the train stopped said passengers were rushing out of the carriages and shouting that there was a stabbing and asking for first aid. Another witness told NHK that he saw passengers smeared with blood come out of the train, as an announcer asked for doctors and for passengers carrying towels.

Dozens of paramedics and police arrived at the station, one of the witnesses said.

The train was brought to an emergency stop after the rail operator was alerted, and a knife and mobile phone believed to belong to the suspect were found on board.

The male suspect, in his 20s, was reportedly taken in by police after he turned himself in at a nearby convenience store, telling the manager he was the perpetrator of the attack.

Japan has strict gun laws, but there are occasional violent crimes involving other weapons.

In 2019, a man killed two people including a schoolgirl and wounded more than a dozen in a rampage that targeted children as they waited for a bus.

And in 2018, a man was arrested in central Japan after stabbing one person to death and injuring two others on board a bullet train.

Source: News Agencies