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Japan anime studio fire: Nearly 30 confirmed or presumed dead in suspected arson attack

A man screaming “You die!” burst into an animation production studio in Kyoto, Japan, and set it on fire early Thursday, authorities said, leaving nearly 30 people confirmed or presumed dead.

The blaze injured an additional 36 people, some of them critically, Japanese authorities said. Most were workers at Kyoto Animation, known for mega-hit stories featuring high school girls, with places featured in the stories even becoming “pilgrimage sites” for their fans.

The fire started in the three-story building in Japan’s ancient capital after the attacker sprayed an unidentified liquid accelerant, Kyoto prefectural police and fire department officials said.

Kyoto fire department official Mikihide Daikoku said firefighters found more than a dozen people presumed dead on the top floor of a three-story building, some of them collapsed on the stairs leading to the roof.

Firefighters were still searching inside the building in case anyone else was left behind.

Kyoto police said the suspect was injured and taken to a hospital for treatment. They are investigating the man, who is 41 and not a company employee, on suspicion of arson, police said.

A witness who saw the suspect being approached by police told Japanese networks that the man admitted spreading gasoline and setting a fire with a lighter. She told NHK public television that the man had burns on his arms and legs and that he was angrily complaining that something of his had been “stolen,” possibly by the company. NHK footage also showed sharp knives police had collected from the scene, though it was not clear if they belonged to the suspect.

Survivors who saw the attacker said he was not their colleague and that he was screaming “[You] die!” when he dumped the liquid and started the fire, according to Japanese media reports. They said some of the survivors got splashed with the liquid.

Kyoto Animation, better

Article source: https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/story/2019-07-17/suspected-arson-in-japan-animation-studio-kills-1

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