Vehicle knocks down 8 people on iconic Tokyo street

April FrancisJan 02, 2019

At least eight people were injured when a man deliberately drove his vehicle into a crowded Tokyo street filled with people who had gathered for the city's New Year's festivities.

One person, a 21-year-old man, has been detained on suspicion of attempted murder, according to police. He is suspected of intentionally trying to kill people by driving the vehicle into them in the street.

NHK footage showed the van with a smashed front and paramedics carrying the injured on stretchers into ambulances.

Police told broadcaster NHK that he initially told then he had conducted a terrorist act, but then later claimed it was related to executions.

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A ninth person was injured after Kusakabe got out of the auto and punched him, police said. His condition was not immediately known. There was a tank of kerosene in the rental auto, which he said he planned to use to burn the vehicle, the investigative sources said.

The Japanese news outlet stated in its report that is unclear to which execution the suspect was referring.

The crash occurred early on Tuesday on Takeshita Dori, a street well-known to tourists and pop culture and fashion fans that runs past the Meiji Shrine in Harajuku, Shibuya ward.

Tokyo Metropolitan Police told CNN that they have opened an investigation into the incident, which took place 10 minutes after midnight, local time. At least seven people were killed and a dozen injured.

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