TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/ / Getty Images
Two singers, members of Japanese girl band AKB48, were hospitalized on Sunday, May 25 following a vicious attack by a man with a saw.
A 19-year old Rina Kawaei and her bandmate Anna Iriyama, 18-year old, both have suffered broken bones in their right hand and some cuts to the arms and head. The attack took place in Iwate, northern Japan.
The incident occurred after a mini concert, during a meet-and-greet with fans. Reportedly, a man approached the booth in which the two stars were sitting, and he began slicing them with a 50-centimetre long saw.
The man was immediately pinned to the ground by staff and security. The event was restrained until police arrived soon after.
The man, a 24-year old, was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder. An Iwate police representative told AFP in Tokyo, “We have started questioning the suspect this morning to know details, including his motive.”
According to their manager, the girls had to undergo surgeries, which resulted in success, and will be released from hospital on Monday, May 26.
AKB48 members were chosen from a current talent competition, out of more than 100 female performers in a rotating line-up.
The band is one of the highest-earning musical performers in Japan. It has achieved such popularity in Japan that it has been named as a social phenomenon.
As of March 2014 only, the band has sold over 30 million records, including over 25.83 million singles which makes it the third highest musical act in Japan, and the most by a girl group.