Police are looking for attacker seen in security footage whose actions also injured innocent woman.

Because of how many different subway lines crisscross each other below the surface of Tokyo, some stations have to be dug deep into the earth. This, of course, means it can be a long trip back up once you get off your train, but as a 22-year-old man was waiting for the escalator to take them back up to the surface from Shirokane-takanawa Station on Tuesday night, something terrible happened.

Another man, dressed in black with a baseball cap and mask obscuring much of his face, came walking up the escalator behind him, holding a small bottle in his gloved right hand. When he got up next to the first man, the man in black splashed the contents of the vial, which turned out to be sulfuric acid, onto the man’s face, with the liquid running down his shoulders and onto his back and causing severe burns.

▼ Security camera images of the attacker

In addition to the man who was targeted, a 34-year-old woman who was also on the escalator suffered injuries when she slipped on the liquid that had spilled onto the floor, coming into contact with the acid as it burned the skin on her right leg. The attacker then fled the scene, and police are currently searching for him.

Security footage shows that the attacker came out of the ticket gate at approximately the same time as the male victim and purposefully followed him. It’s currently unknown if some sort of prior altercation between the two led to the attack or if it was simply a random act of heinous violence. The male victim’s burns are expected to take roughly half a year to fully heal.

▼ The exit at the top of the escalator where the attack took place

In addition to the suddenness of the attack and the unusual weapon, the incident has also shocked locals because of where it took place, as the Shirokane and Takanawa neighborhoods of Tokyo’s Minato Wards are some of the fanciest residential areas in the city, and a reputation for low crime levels even by Tokyo standards. The attack is a reminder that all it takes is one unhinged person to put innocent lives in danger, and so even if Japan deserves its reputation as an especially safe country, it’s still a good idea to be aware of your surroundings when using public transportation.

Sources: TBS News, FNN Prime Online, Jiji
Top image: Wikipedia/本屋~commonswiki
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