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Man sets himself alight on Japan bullet train, second passenger dies

TOKYO (Reuters) – Two passengers on a Japanese Shinkansen bullet train died after one doused himself in oil and set himself ablaze on Tuesday, media reports said.

The train, carrying about 1,000 passengers, made an emergency stop on its way from Tokyo to the western city of Osaka after smoke started to fill at least one carriage, fire department officials said.

Passengers are seen inside a Shinkansen bullet train after it made an emergency stop in Odawara, south of Tokyo, in this aerial view photo taken by Kyodo June 30, 2015. REUTERS/Kyodo

Passengers are seen inside a Shinkansen bullet train after it made an emergency stop in Odawara, south of Tokyo, in this aerial view photo taken by Kyodo June 30, 2015. REUTERS/Kyodo

A fire department official confirmed that one man was dead. Kyodo news agency, quoting a witness, identified him as the man who had covered himself with oil and set fire to himself.

There was no immediate indication of any possible motive for the man’s actions.

A female passenger also died, NHK public TV said, while at least one more was in serious condition and several others suffered less serious injuries, fire department officials said.

Most passengers went to other carriages after smoke began to fill the car, reports said.

Passengers are seen inside a Shinkansen bullet train after it made an emergency stop in Odawara, south of Tokyo, in this aerial view photo taken by Kyodo June 30, 2015. REUTERS/Kyodo

Passengers are seen inside a Shinkansen bullet train after it made an emergency stop in Odawara, south of Tokyo, in this aerial view photo taken by Kyodo June 30, 2015. REUTERS/Kyodo

An official at JR Tokai (Central Japan Railway Company) [9022.T], which operates the train, said at least one person was found at the entrance of a carriage covered in flammable liquid.

Footage on TBS television showed a train carriage filled with smoke and passengers evacuating with handkerchiefs pressed to their faces. One clutched a baby to their chest.

The JR Tokai official said the train stopped after the emergency button was pushed and the passenger was then discovered. No further details were immediately available.

Police officers investigate a Shinkansen bullet train after it made an emergency stop in Odawara, south of Tokyo, in this aerial view photo taken by Kyodo June 30, 2015. REUTERS/Kyodo

Police officers investigate a Shinkansen bullet train after it made an emergency stop in Odawara, south of Tokyo, in this aerial view photo taken by Kyodo June 30, 2015. REUTERS/Kyodo

Japan’s superfast Shinkansen trains are known for their speed and safety.

(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka, Linda Sieg, Ami Miyazaki and Elaine Lies; Editing by Paul Tait)

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