A knifeman started a fire on Swiss train and stabbed passengers on Saturday, injuring six people including a six-year-old child, police say.
Police in St. Gallen canton say the incident happened at Saturday afternoon as the train neared the station in Salez, near the border with Liechtenstein. The motive was not immediately clear, but the incident follows a string of violent, often deadly assaults in Europe in recent months, with many claimed by the jihadist Islamic State group.
Police said the attack had taken place at around 2:20 pm (local time) near the Salez station on a train running between Buchs and Sennwald and that some of the injuries were serious. “According to the information we have for the time being, the 27-year-old Swiss man poured out a flammable liquid … (which) caught fire,” police said, adding that the man “was also armed with at least one knife”.
Seven people including the suspected attacker were admitted to various hospitals with burn and stab wounds, the statement said.
The victims included two men aged 17 and 50, and three women aged 17, 34 and 43. Dozens of people were on the train at the time of the attack, the police statement said. A massive contingent of rescue workers rushed to the scene, including police, firefighters, ambulances and three rescue helicopters.
The Salez station remains closed, and police said replacement buses had been set up. Saint Gallen prosecutors have opened a criminal investigation into the attack. Police said the train had suffered damages upwards of 100,000 Swiss francs (USD 103,000).