Acid mishap on Tokyo train injures passengers

TOKYO Wed Nov 18, 2009 7:36am EST

1 of 3. Members of the Tokyo Fire Department gather at the Nihonbashi station in Tokyo November 18, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Toru Hanai

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TOKYO (Reuters) - Several people were injured when a stone worker riding on a Tokyo subway train accidentally broke a container of hydrochloric acid he was carrying, the fire department and media said Wednesday.

Television showed emergency vehicles and rescue workers in protective gear at Nihonbashi station in the crowded center of the Japanese capital.

The fire department said three people had been taken to hospital, while media reports said four were injured.

The Tokyo fire department said a strange smell had also been reported at another station through which the train passed.

The subway line was halted for a while, but later re-started, a spokeswoman for Tokyo Metro said.

Tokyo police said the man who spilled the liquid had not been arrested and that it was not clear whether he would face charges.

"He didn't do it on purpose," a police spokesman said.

Japan is particularly sensitive to hazards on its trains after a 1995 incident in which members of a religious cult released highly toxic sarin gas on the Tokyo subway, killing 12 and injuring thousands, some permanently.

(Reporting by Yoko Kubota and Chisa Fujioka; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)

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