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Friday, August 1, 2014

Box Mysteriously Set On Fire At Japanese Train Station

I saw this news on the News On Japan website, taken from Rocket News - HERE.

If you read the English translation of it, it sounds like there was a corrugated (what people incorrectly call 'cardboard') box that mysteriously burst into flames.

My initial thought was 'holy crap! Are they calling this spontaneous combustion?!'

But... no... it's just crappy ass writing.

It did burst into flames, but a perusal of the Japanese language provided underneath - as well as the accompanying video, will remove all spooky doubts from your mind, as apparently some guy walked into the Urawa-eki (Urawa Train Station) of the Japan Rail (JR) in Saitama-shi (Saitama City), Saitama-ken (Saitama Province), set it on fire and then ran away.

According to witnesses, this wonton act of arson occurred on July 29, 2014 at 6PM, when a man described as being between 20-30 years of age, about 1.70-meters tall wearing an off-white tee-shirt and shorts and a pale yellow baseball cap walked to the center of the train station carrying a sealed medium-sized corrugated carton.

He then bent over and with what was described as a standard cheap ¥100 (~ US/Cdn $1) lighter, set it ablaze and then ran toward the station exit.

Although I can not be 100% certain, the implication is that it caught fire quickly and burned quickly, leaving behind mere ashes.

To me, if that is the case, it would imply that an accelerant was used, to get a quicker burn and maximum panic.

Station staff quickly responded to the cries of 'fire' and put the blaze out with a hand-held fire extinguisher.

No one was hurt, no trains were delayed... it was all a big bit of excitement that produced a bit of attention to someone who is obviously deranged - but not deranged enough to get caught.

At this time, no arrests have been made, nor is there any information about what might have been in the carton.

I will say this for the JR station guys... pretty brave and quick with the response. Who knows what could have been in that container? Something extremely volatile and explosive? Obviously not, because nothing exploded, but they didn't know that.

As well... there could have been something toxic inside, and if there was, hopefully the heat from the fire turned it inert.

Like I said - very brave.

As for the perpetrator... whether mentally ill, angry at JR, merely testing out the response prior to a possible terrorist attack, or just some university practical joke lacking common sense... hopefully Saitama police can make an arrest soon.

Here's a Japanese language new video from YouTube on the story, which, with the added computer animation, will give you a pretty good idea of what is purported to have happened even if you don't understand the Japanese spoken language.

Andrew Joseph

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