A 40-year-old man descended safely from the top of a railway bridge over Tokyo’s Sumida River early April 14 and was apprehended shortly after for disrupting train service, police said.
The man, whose name was withheld by police, was seen sitting on the arch of the JR Sobu Line’s Sumidagawa Bridge in Taito Ward at around 7:30 a.m., according to police. Exposed to 36 kph gusts, the man climbed down from the bridge on his own at 10:38 a.m. after police tried for three hours to talk him down, they said.
When rescuers first arrived at the scene, the man had threatened to jump off the arch into the river 27 meters below if anyone approached him, investigators said. A crowd of about 100 people looked on as the man was arrested for disrupting train operations.
The man, whom police describe as homeless, made no demands while on the bridge, and the motive for his actions is being investigated.
East Japan Railway Co. ordered trains to reduce speed, causing five- to 13-minute delays in both directions during rush hour. All trains between Mitaka and Chiba stations, as well as rapid express trains between Tokyo and Chiba, were stopped between 10:15 and 10:45 a.m. to allow the rescue, affecting 110,000 commuters.
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