Police arrest driver after van slams into Tokyo crowd, injuring 8

Credit: Yuta Omori

Credit: Yuta Omori

UPDATE 11:30 p.m. EST Jan. 1: Tokyo Metropolitian police told The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity that suspect Kazuhiro Kusakabe, 21, was arrested and being questioned after he allegedly slammed into pedestrians in Tokyo.

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Eight people were injured when a minivan slammed into pedestrians gathered to celebrate New Year’s festivities. Police said a ninth person was injured when Kusakabe got out the vehicle and punched him. It’s not clear what condition that person is in.

Police said a large tank filled with kerosene was found in the vehicle. According to Japanese media, Kusakabe planned to set his car on fire.

Police are still investigating motives and declined to comment on those reports.

Original report:

A man drove a vehicle into a crowd of people celebrating New Year's Day early Tuesday in Tokyo, injuring eight people, Reuters reported.

Police said one suspect had been detained and told authorities that the incident was "an act of terror," a spokesman told Reuters.

Video footage from the NHK network showed a small van with its front end damaged as police and first responders rushed to the scene, the Evening Standard reported.

The incident happened shortly after midnight in a popular tourist area of Harajuku in central Tokyo, Reuters reported.

"I can't believe it, this is a place I'm familiar with, so it's very shocking," Tatsuhiro Yaegashi, 27, told Reuters.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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