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Two feared dead after alleged suicide fire on Japan bullet train

One of Japan's superfast "bullet" trains has made an emergency stop after a passenger allegedly tried to set himself on fire. There are unconfirmed reports that two people may have died in the incident.

The train, which was travelling on the Shinkansen network of high-speed railway lines made an emergency stop around 70 kilometers (45 miles) southwest of Tokyo at around 11:30 (0200 UTC) on Tuesday after the incident.

"We have been informed that there was a passenger in a car on the train who covered him or herself with oil and set it on fire," a spokesman for the Central Japan Railway company told the AFP news agency.

"We received information indicating that a fire broke out near a toilet and two people were in cardiopulmonary arrest," a spokesman for the fire department in the city of Odawara said.

NHK, Japan's national public broadcaster, reported that two people were found on the floor of the first car of the train, but at opposite ends of the carriage.

The broadcaster TBS showed video footage of a train carriage filled with smoke and passengers exiting with handkerchiefs pressed to their faces.

Further details were not immediately available.

The "bullet" train was on its way to Tokyo to Osaka when the incident occurred.

pfd/kms (Reuters, dpa, AFP)