National

Man firebombs Tokyo street samba festival, injures 15 before hanging himself

Kyodo

Fifteen people were injured Sunday night during a samba parade on a Tokyo shopping street when a man threw what appeared to be Molotov cocktails onto the crowd below before fatally hanging himself in a third-floor apartment.

The man, who was in his 60s, was found hanged in the Suginami Ward apartment after a fire broke out. He was pronounced dead Monday morning at a hospital.

The injured, ranging in age from 1 to 47, were attending

the summer samba street festival when they were hit by bottles containing what appeared to be flammable liquid. Some of the bottles were apparently attached to gas cylinders.

The festival was held near Fujimigaoka Station on the Keio Inokashira Line. The attack caused a brief panic among the spectators, which included many families.

Several shattered bottles and gas cylinders were found on the street.

“I looked up at the residence and saw the man holding a bottle and a gas burner. He disappeared soon afterward. I know him. He was usually quiet and never caused any trouble,” said Kenji Yoda, 58, who protected the samba troop at the end of the line.

None of the dancers were reportedly injured.

A 45-year-old man who went to the festival with his family saw three bottles thrown from the third floor of the building and falling at the back of the samba dancers. They started a fire when they fell on the street and shattered.