Driver crashes into pedestrians at Tokyo New Year's Eve festivities

Driver crashes into pedestrians at Tokyo New Year's Eve festivities

A auto has slammed into pedestrians on a street where people had gathered for New Year's festivities in downtown Tokyo, injuring eight people, police said.

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

Kusakabe told the police he had driven from Osaka and meant to kill the pedestrians he hit.

The people injured ranged in age from teenagers to people in their 50s, including a male university student who remains in critical condition. 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.

"I can't believe it, this is a place I'm familiar with, so it's very shocking", said Tatsuhiro Yaegashi, a 27-year-old worker in the area. The street was closed to vehicular traffic at the time as it was expected to be crowded on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day.




One witness told NHK it was a "ghastly scene".

Kyodo News Service reported that a ninth person was injured and that the driver was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder.

He then fled on foot, but police caught him at a local park soon after, local media said.

A policeman (R) stands next to a roped-off crime scene after a man drove into the crowd on New Year's Eve on Takeshita Street in Tokyo's fashion district of Harajuku.

No further details about the attacker's identity have been provided.

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