train stop top

Imagine you’re taking the train home from work at 7 p.m., finally getting to leave after being there for almost twelve hours. You can’t wait to just eat some dinner, relax, and then get some much-needed sleep.

But then bam! The train stops and the electricity goes off. You’re stuck, and you’re not getting home for a long, long time.

That’s exactly what happened on August 4 to many passengers in the Tokyo/Yokohama area. An accident shut down entire lines, affecting over 350,000 people’s commute home.

What caused it, you ask? The answer may be a single high school student and his friend’s bag.

At about 7:15 p.m. on August 4, Japan Railways’ Keihin-Tohoku Line and Negishi Lines (which run through Tokyo and Yokohama) were shut down due to “an aerial wiring disconnection.” Something broke on the wires that run above the trains, cutting off electricity to the cars.

This meant that the lights inside of the trains weren’t working, leaving the passengers in darkness except for the outside lights. Here are some tweets of what it looked like:

▼ Pretty much like the intro to a post-apocalyptic movie…

▼ …or a horror film.

▼ And here’s a taste of what the crowds looked like in the station, unable to go anywhere.

To make matters worse, the incident happened at the same time as the gigantic fireworks festival at Yohohama’s portside Minato Mirai district, and the booming explosions made some passengers assume the worst. Was it an attack? Bombing? Terrorists?

Thankfully, it was another peaceful day in Japan, and the cause of the power outage was none of the violent scenarios listed above. But while the situation is still under investigation, one tweet made by a high school girl has led the Internet to believe it knows the culprit: a high school boy and his friend’s bag.

We can’t show you the tweets themselves, for two reasons. One, they’ve been deleted, and two, since the tweeters are minors, they are protected under Japanese law and we can’t release their names to the public.

But! We can recreate the tweets here, translated into English:

The original tweet, by a high school girl:
“[Boy’s name] got crazy all of a sudden and threw my bag into the electrical wires. It got stuck and sparks came out and then it shut off lol.”

And then:
“I was so flustered. I ran too much and got sweaty. I think I’m gonna kill [boy’s name]. Sorry to everyone whose train stopped because of it lol.”

And a response tweet, from the boy in question:
“I didn’t do it on purpose lol.”

The girl then tweeted a picture of the extremely crowded train station, with this caption:
“This is all [boy’s name]’s fault! I wonder if he even knows what he did lol.”

Of course their tweets were caught pretty quickly and suddenly the high school boy and girl found themselves facing the wrath of thousands of angry netizens. Before deleting her account, the girl made a few more tweets, including:

“Actually me and [boy’s name] didn’t do anything lol. That tweet was a lie. I don’t know who thought it was real but I guess I respect the power of Internet otaku now.”

The boy hasn’t deleted his account yet, and he’s been updating on what’s been happening since the night of the train incident:

“I’ve gotten so many more followers….”

“The power of otaku is really amazing.”

“Uh oh lol. I got a call from the Nishihama High School principal today. I’m so popular lol. Ever since this morning I’ve been getting nonstop calls from guidance counselors and the board of education lol.”

“I hope I don’t get expelled from Nishihama High School. That’s the one thing I don’t want to have happen.”

While the Yokohama branch of Japan Railways is still looking into the exact cause behind the power outage, they are aware of the tweets from the high school students. Their only comment on the matter so far has been: “We cannot say that it is not a possibility.”

Of course Japanese netizens are much quicker to jump to conclusions. Here’s a smattering of comments:

“I had to walk all the way home that night. I can’t forgive them.”
“Wow. Their lives are over.”
“Is this real? Seems pretty sketchy, but if it is, they’ll have to pay a huge fine.”
“I don’t think they could ever afford to pay a fine that big.”
“Oh man I can’t wait to see how this one turns out!”

So what do you think? Did a high school boy and a bag really take down several train lines? Or did a stupid tweet just get completely out of hand? Let us know in the comments!

Source: Hachima Kiko (1, 2), Yahoo! News Japan
Featured/top image: Twitter (@mikamiyoh)