Vehicle plows into New Year's crowd in Tokyo, injures eight people

Minnie Murray
January 1, 2019

At least eight people were injured, one seriously, when a vehicle plowed into crowds celebrating New Year's Day in Tokyo early on Tuesday.

Japanese police arrested a 21-year-old man on suspicion of intention to kill shortly after the crash in the early hours of New Year's Day. They say he is suspected of intentionally trying to kill people by driving the auto through the street.

Local TV footage showed the small van with a smashed-up front end, as ambulance workers and police officers rushed to the scene.

Police inspect a auto whose driver rammed his vehicle into crowds on Takeshita street in Tokyo early January 1, 2019.

Car attack injures 8 pedestrians in Tokyo during New Year's festivities
Tokyo attack: Man drives car into New Year's Eve crowds with 'intention to kill'

Police took into custody a man in his 20s but did not further identify him. Police said they were busy and did not immediately confirm the Kyodo report.

Investigative sources quoted Kusakabe as saying at first he had perpetrated an act of terrorism. It was not clear if he was referring to a specific execution or capital punishment in general.

The incident happened in the tourist and shopping destination of Harajuku on Takeshita Street, which is close to the Meiji Shrine.

At 12:10 a.m., the small van began driving into pedestrians on the street, which was closed to vehicular traffic at the time because of revelers visiting the Meiji Shrine and attending New Year's gatherings. In 2008, a man drove his vehicle into a crowd in the popular Akihabara electronic-shopping district, got off and went on a stabbing spree with a knife.

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