Over 20 dead in suspected arson at Japanese anime studio

A suspected arson attack on a Japanese anime studio killed at least 23 people and left dozens injured. The suspect allegedly poured petrol in several parts of Kyoto Animation's 1st Studio building before igniting it in Fujimi Ward, Kyoto, at about 10.30 a.m. local time Thursday, according to The Guardian.


A fire department official said 36 others were injured, with some in critical condition. Firefighters apparently discovered more 10 people presumed dead on the top floor of a three-story building, with some having collapsed on the stairs to the roof.

Around 70 people were in the building when the fire broke out, and some are still unaccounted for, state broadcaster NHK reported.

The suspect, a 41-year-old man, was detained and taken to hospital with injuries. He was reportedly heard saying "die" or "drop dead" as he started the fire.

We don't know what kind of relationship he had to the studio, but The Associated Press reported that survivors who saw him said he wasn't one of their coworkers. Local reports suggest he ran out of the building after the fire started, but collapsed.

"A person with singed hair was lying down and there were bloody footprints," a local woman told news agency Kyodo.

Kyoto Animation was founded in 1981 and is behind anime like K-On, The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, A Silent Voice and Clannad. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was among those expressing their sorrow on Twitter.

"I'm speechless. I pray for the souls of those who have passed away," he wrote. "I would like to express my condolences to all of the injured and wish them a speedy recovery."

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