Keio train attacker sprayed fuel onto passengers

Sources close to a police investigation into last month's attack by a knife-wielding man on a Tokyo train say the assailant sprayed lighter fluid on some passengers before igniting a fire on the train.

Hattori Kyota stabbed a 72-year-old passenger and left him seriously injured while the train was traveling in the city of Chofu on October 31, Halloween.

The sources say investigators have learned that after the assault, Hattori chased other passengers and sprayed some of them with about 3 liters of lighter fluid. He then set fire to the liquid, but the flames did not spread to the passengers.

The man had prepared the fuel in plastic bottles.

The sources say police confirmed his actions by examining a video taken by a passenger.

After the train made an emergency stop at a station, police arrested Hattori on suspicion of attempting to kill the 72-year-old passenger. Sixteen others also suffered injuries, such as smoke inhalation.

Police plan to serve Hattori a fresh arrest warrant on Monday on charges of arson and attempt to kill other passengers.

Investigators quoted the unemployed 25-year-old attacker as saying that he launched the attack because confined train passengers would not be able to flee from him. He also told officers that he chose the night of Halloween because trains were usually crowded on that day.