Man dressed as the Joker leaves at least 17 injured after Tokyo train stabbing

·2-min read

A man dressed as the Joker has stabbed several commuters before setting a train on fire in Tokyo.

The attacker – dressed in a green shirt, blue suit and purple coat like the Batman comic book villain – left one man in critical condition after the gruesome stabbing inside the Keio train near Kokuryo station.

At least 16 others were also injured in the incident.

Following the stabbings, witnesses claim the man then sprayed liquid in the carriage before setting it ablaze.

Videos shared on social media show passengers running from the scene, with some attempting to climb through windows in a bid to escape.

People were pictured running through carriages (TWITTER / @SIZ33 via REUTERS)
People were pictured running through carriages (TWITTER / @SIZ33 via REUTERS)

The suspected attacker was arrested on the spot, police confirmed.

Footage shared on social media shows a stream of people running away from a train carriage as a blaze lights up.

Another shows passengers desperately attempting to squeeze out of the train’s windows and onto the platform where it had made an emergency stop.

"I thought it was a Halloween stunt," one witness told the Yomiuri newspaper, recalling the moment he saw other passengers running in a panic towards his train carriage. "Then, I saw a man walking this way, slowly waving a long knife."

There was blood on the knife, he said.

Another video on Twitter showed a bespectacled man in a purple suit and bright green shirt, as worn by the Joker, seated in an empty train puffing on a cigarette, his legs crossed and looking calm. He can be seen through the window being surrounded by law enforcement in a subsequent clip.

Local media report 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 a lower house election.

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