March 20, 1995 – Nerve gas attack on Tokyo subway

March 20, 1995 – Nerve gas attack on Tokyo subway

At the height of morning rush hour, terrorists from the Aum Shinrikyo religious cult converge at the Kasumigaseki subway station in Tokyo and release lethal sarin gas into the air. The terrorists then took a sarin antidote and escaped while the commuters, blinded and gasping for air, rushed to the exits.

Twelve people died, and over 5,000 were treated in hospitals, many in a comatose state. In the attack’s aftermath, Japanese police raided Aum Shinrikyo headquarters and arrested hundreds of members, including the cult’s leader, Master Shoko Asahara. The cult, which combined Buddhism and yoga with apocalyptic Christian philosophy, was already under investigation for a 1994 sarin attack that killed seven and for the murder of several political opponents.