Man Commits Suicide By Setting Himself Alight On Shinkansen

A man tries to set himself alight on a shinkansen in suicide attempt

One of the most read and shared stories of the day was the news that a fire had broken out on board a shinkansen, or “bullet-train”, en route from Tokyo to Osaka.

But rather than being the result of a mechanical fault, the fire was actually part of a suicide attempt by one of the passengers, who tried to set himself alight after covering himself with oil.

The incident was dealt with swiftly, but resulted in the death of a man and a woman involved in the incident, as well as injuries for several other passengers.

Netizens have no sympathy for suicide victim, with many saying that his act was not only selfish but a nuisance to others.

From Asahi Shimbun:

Fire On Shinkansen, Man And Woman Dead After Oil Scattered In Carriage; Several Injured

At around 11:30am on June 30, a fire broke out on board the first carriage of the Tokaido Shinkansen Nozomi no. 225 from Tokyo bound for Osaka, as it was running through Kanomachi, Odawara City, Kanagawa Prefecture. The train therefore underwent an emergency stop. According to prefectural police and fire services, a passenger started scattering a liquid in the carriage and set it alight. They confirmed the deaths of a man and a woman in her sixties, who both suffered full-body burns. One other person suffered serious injuries, while a further 8 were also injured.

According to JR Tokai and police, smoke rose from the front of the first carriage. The driver initiated the emergency stop due to an alarm in the toilet being activated, and the fire services and police were informed via the security company that monitors the trains. At around 11:49am, there were also 110 reports that “a man has scattered something that looks like kerosene and has set it alight”.

One man who was covered in oil collapsed close to the train vestibule adjacent to the driver’s seat in the carriage, and a member of the train staff extinguished the fire using a fire extinguisher. It was also confirmed that a woman had collapsed in the vestibule at the other end of the carriage. Police assume that the man had covered himself in oil and set himself alight intending to commit suicide. There is a possibility that the woman was also involved. The woman was taken to a hospital in Odawara City.

According to JR Tokai, the Shinkansen departed Tokyo Station at 11am. Approximately 1,000 passengers were on board. Passengers in carriages 1 – 3 were evacuated to carriages after carriage 4, and waited on the train. Soon after fire fighting activities and an investigation had been carried out, JR Tokai reviewed whether the train would continue on to Odawara Station to unload passengers. At around 2:09pm, both Shinkansen tracks resumed operation.

At 11:50am, the government established an emergency communications room in the Crisis Management Center at the Prime Minister’s residence.

Comments from

On TBS they’re showing a video taken by a reporter who was on board, but rather than this being a distinguished act it actually just seems like he was obstructing rescue efforts. Is he an idiot, standing in the way of people’s escape route?

Before there were people who died after getting caught up in a suicide where someone jumped off the train. Personally I think people who commit suicide are stupid, but if you want to die then do it on your own, as you want, without getting anyone else involved, like in a forest or somewhere.

They say he tried to commit suicide by burning himself to death, covering himself in oil inside a train carriage. What a pain in the ass.

Covered himself in oil and tried to burn himself alive? What a complete and utter nuisance!!

So it wasn’t terrorism, huh? I guess that to commit suicide by setting yourself on fire means that you must be from a country where the people are really good at committing suicide by setting themselves on fire, then?

Committing suicide by setting yourself on fire in a train carriage? What an unbelievably massive idiot. A bastard like that who would cause harm to other people doesn’t even have the right to commit suicide.

Man, trying to kill yourself inside of a moving shinkansen train…If that’s what really happened then what a massive pain in the ass.

According to NHK news, some idiot tried to kill themselves inside the front carriage by covering themselves with oil. This is not JR Tokai’s fault at all.

I’m so glad that this was dealt with quickly and it didn’t escalate into a major accident.

Dear Mr. Asahi, please publish this person’s real name — not their legal alias — and their nationality ^ ^.

But why the hell go and do it on a shinkansen (´・Д・)」

To try to burn yourself to death by covering yourself in gasoline inside a shinkansen carriage, what a bothersome way to die!

Committing suicide by burning yourself to death? What a nuisance that bastard was. I couldn’t give a shit if he died, but don’t get people who have nothing to do with it involved. Selfish to the last.

Check out looks like the person who did this inside the carriage of the shinkansen wasn’t Japanese…

Wah! Give me a freakin’ break, burning yourself to death in a train carriage!

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  • Kiko2909

    The Japanese who wrote:

    “Check out looks like the person who did this inside the carriage of the shinkansen wasn’t Japanese…”

    Yeap… like clock work and just as I expected…. here comes the another “he wasn’t a Japanese..”… yeah right Japan.

  • lonetrey / Dan

    The people focusing on nationality can go set themselves on fire on a bullet train as well.

    As for everyone else, I think it’s fair to say that the fiery suicide was a real pain in the ass for people who need the train to reach their destination. Not much sympathy from me for the person setting themselves on fire.

    • Anti-Realist

      : a group of people who share the same history, traditions, and language, and who usually live together in a particular country

      : the fact or status of being a member or citizen of a particular nation
      So Dan, What the fuck is wrong with focusing on nationality?
      Is it some harmful or evil state of mind for normal people to live day to day life?

      • Dan

        It is when it becomes a focus in situations where it has nothing to do with nationality. In otherwords, it provokes bias.

        The comments asking whether it was a Japanese (or Korean) person or not shifts attention toward a debate about something that doesn’t have any bearing on why this pensioner set himself on fire. I hate it when the “Korea vs Japan” is bought up for no reason in an article.

        Perhaps you misunderstood my post? You don’t seem crazy, and I realized the meaning of my single sentence might be lost upon people who are reading it across the internet.

    • tomoe723

      It is notable though for those who aren’t aware that suicide is still considered noble or a worthy act. Comments are either suggesting other places he should have committed suicide or because of the nuisance he has created, he has no right to even commit suicide.

      • Dan

        Eh. My opinion on suicide is kind of… in a grey area.

        I mean, I feel like it’s their life and we probably can’t stop them anyways. On the otherhand, there’s a threshold for where people can recover from and we don’t always know where that line is.

        I guess I’m of the opinion that it’s better to err on the side of safety and not suicide, since it’s irreversible. And if it does turn out that suicide is the only option (I don’t know how someone would determine that), they can always do that later if need be. But I’d prefer them not to.

        • tomoe723

          I also don’t prefer suicide. I’m just saying though that suicide isn’t viewed badly compared to cultures with very strong views against suicide, usually influenced by the condemnations of their own religion.

          • Dan

            Oooh. I see what you mean now.

  • A Gawd Dang Mongolian

    Any explanation as to why? Burning to death is slow, and hurts like hell. So you either have to be high as a kite or really dedicated to dying by fire. So what set him off?

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