Wednesday 23 June 2010

Ex Mazda worker storms plant (JP)

A previous Mazda employee supposedly murdered one and injured ten others after crashing his car into a group of people at Mazda's Hiroshima factory yesterday, according to reports. The 42 year old suspect, Toshiaki Hikiji, fled the scene, but was arrested an hour after the offence.

A 39 year old man, Hiroshi Hamada was pronounced dead at the scene. Another male employee is still in critical condition. The crash took place at the Mazda-owned Ujina plant near the Hiroshima port in south-western Japan.

"I pray for the spirit of the man who was killed, and pray for the recovery of the ten who were injured," said Mazda President Takashi Yamanouchi in a statement.

Mazda said that Hikiji left the firm for personal reasons, although, media in Japan report that Hikiji was sacked from the plant in April after working at the Ujina location for eight days, according to the wire service. Reporters also said Hikiji brought a knife with him, and planned to kill people at the plant.

The event sent chills down the spines of many in Tokyo, just two years after a fuming Toyota worker crashed his truck into a crowd in a busy Tokyo neighbourhood before continually stabbing bystanders.

Around 7,000 people work at Mazda's Ujina facility, which continued normal operations after the incident. The plant is responsible for the Mazda2/Demio, and the Mazda MX-5/Miata roadster.

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