Man dressed in Batman's Joker costume stabs several passengers on Tokyo train

TOKYO – A 24-year-old man dressed in Batman’s Joker costume attacked passengers on a Tokyo train line Sunday night and injured 17 people as many partiers went downtown for Halloween gatherings, media reported.

The police arrested the alleged attacker on the spot, media reported. A man believed to be 60 years old was passed out and in critical condition after being stabbed, while witnesses also said the attacker spilled fluids on the train and started a fire, according to media.

A video uploaded to Twitter showed a steady stream of people running away from a train car where seconds later a flame lit up. Another video showed passengers hurrying to squeeze out of the windows of the train onto the platform on which the train had made an emergency stop.

“I thought it was a Halloween stunt,” a witness told the Yomiuri newspaper, remembering the moment when he saw other passengers panic towards his car. “Then I saw a man walking this way and slowly waving a long knife.” The knife was bloody, he said.

Another video on Twitter showed a man with glasses in a purple suit and a light green shirt, like the Joker wears, sitting on an empty train, panting on a cigarette, crossing his legs and looking calm. In a subsequent clip he can be seen through the window as he is surrounded by law enforcement agencies.

Local media later reported that the suspect had told authorities that he wanted to “kill people so that he could be sentenced to death”.

The attack occurred on the Keio express line to Shinjuku, the busiest train station in the world, around 8 p.m. (1100 GMT), media said.

The facility on the Keio Line was suspended late Sunday when Japanese voters went to vote at a lower house election.

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