Chaos erupted on a bullet train north of Tokyo when a passenger’s bottle of chemical liquid accidentally seeped from his bag — burning four people, including himself and a child, and making at least two others ill.
The hazardous mishap began when a stranger told the 40-year-old man — an employee of a geological survey company — that something was leaking from his bag near his feet. Then, when he picked up the bag to move to another part of the train, a 5-year-old boy slipped and fell onto the liquid, which ended up burning his skin. And when his parents tried to help their child, they too got burned, mostly on their legs. Even the owner of the liquid was injured, while a woman in her 30s and a train employee both began to feel unwell, most likely from vapor inhalation, according to police via The Japan Times.
From Japan Times:
Passengers were evacuated from the train onto the platform of JR Sendai Station in Miyagi Prefecture, East Japan Railway Co. said, after a smoke-like haze was detected from one of the carriages during a crew inspection. The inspection was prompted by a rider’s emergency call around noon about a child suffering burns from what seemed like a chemical substance.
A 48-year-old man who was waiting for the train at the platform said a staff member shouted “Smoke from the No. 7 carriage!” Approaching the scene, he observed what seemed like a black bag emitting smoke near the carriage doors.
Sirens from emergency vehicles filled the air at the station, which was crowded with tourists and shoppers taking advantage of the last day of a three-day weekend.
“No lives are in danger,” reports the Times, although it’s not clear how serious the burns were.