TOKYO, July 5 -- Mysterious gas fumes at four Tokyo subway stations have injured four people, and a bag of cyanide powerful enough to kill thousands was found at another subway station, police said Wednesday. The incidents were the latest in a series around Tokyo and neighboring Yokohama since the March 20 poison gas attack on the subway system during rush-hour that killed 12 people and injured more than 5, 500 others.
The attacks coincided with the naming of Oct. 26 as the date for the first hearing in the trial of Shoko Asahara, the doomsday cult leader suspected of masterminding the March gas attack. In the Kayabacho subway station, a cleaning woman found Tuesday two plastic bags containing cyanide soda and sulfuric acid capable of producing enough gas to kill 9,000 people, police said. A timing device was found along with the bags in a women's toilet at the station, which is on the Hibiya Line, one of those hit in the March 20 attack, A few hours later at around 12:10 a.m. Wednesday, three men smelled noxious fumes near a men's room at Tokyo station in the heart of the city, causing them to be taken to hospital after complaining of throat pain and headaches. Police said, however, they could not detect any traces of chemicals that could have caused the Tokyo station odor. And 20 minutes later, a janitor found a plastic bag containing a powder and wine-colored liquid along with a timing device in a men's toilet at Shinjuku station, the world's busiest train concourse. A man at the station complained of sickness and was taken to hospital.