Two passengers on a JapaneseShinkansen bullet train died on Tuesday after one doused himself in oil and set it ablaze, police said, but there was no immediate indication of a motive for the action that left 26 others injured.
The train, carrying about 1,000 passengers, made an emergency stop on its way from Tokyo, the capital, to the western city of Osaka, after smoke started to fill at least one carriage.
"And fire spread all over the place immediately."
Besides the man who set himself afire, a woman passenger also died, a police official said. The cause of her death was not officially determined, but it could have been from inhaling smoke, he said.
TBS footage showed a train carriage filled with smoke and passengers scrambling to get out, pressing handkerchiefs to their faces. One clutched a baby to the chest.
Fire department officials said 26 other passengers were also hurt in the incident, affected by heat, smoke and other causes.
After the emergency stop, the train was moved to a nearby station where the passengers disembarked on a platform crowded with photographers, police and fire officials.
Japan's superfast Shinkansen trains are known for their speed and safety