News World Arson suspected as fire engulfs Japanese studio; at least 23 feared dead

Arson suspected as fire engulfs Japanese studio; at least 23 feared dead

Fire swept through an animation studio in Japan on Thursday and 23 people were feared killed and scores injured, with the cause suspected to have been arson after a man was seen shouting “die” as he doused the building with petrol.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called the fire in the city of Kyoto – the latest grisly killing in a country known for its low crime rates – “too appalling for words” on Twitter and offered condolences to the victims.

Police had taken a 41-year-old man into custody who had shouted “die” as he poured what appeared to be petrol around the three-story Kyoto Animation building shortly after 10 a.m. (0100 GMT), public broadcaster NHK reported.

Thirteen people were confirmed dead and at least 10 more had no vital signs after they were found in the studio, an official for the Kyoto City Fire Department said.

White and black smoke billowed from the windows of the building, television footage showed.

“I heard the sound of fire engines and stepped outside my house, and saw big flames spewing out of the building,” NHK quoted a 16-year-old boy as saying.

“Fire department officials were trying to rescue the injured in a nearby park but it seemed like there weren’t enough of them,” he said.

POPULAR SERIES

The studio produces popular series such as the “Sound! Euphonium”. Its “Free! Road to the World – The Dream” movie is due for release this month.

The 10 people without vital sounds were found in the studio, some on third floor and others in a staircase leading up to the roof, the fire official said.

Another 36 were injured, 10 of them seriously, the official said.

The suspected arsonist was injured and was being treated in hospital, so police could not question him, NHK said.

Kyoto police declined to comment.

Violent crime is relatively rare in Japan but occasional high-profile incidents have shocked the country.

Less than two months ago, a knife-wielding man slashed at a group of schoolgirls at a bus stop in Kawasaki, a city just south of Tokyo, killing one girl and the father of another, while injuring more than a dozen children.

In 2016, a man armed with a knife broke into a facility for the disabled in a small town near Tokyo and killed 19 patients.

(Reuters)

Top Stories

Limassol: Old workers’ flats being turned to multi-purpose centre

  The former workers' apartments in western Limassol are being renovated and converted into a social and cultural centre as part of a wider €22...

Ice cream parlour, restaurants among 10 businesses booked for breaking decree

    The managers of 10 businesses including restaurants, an ice cream parlour and a hair dressers salon were booked yesterday for failing to comply with...

Cypriot tourists spend some €465 m in Greece

  Though not big spenders, Cypriots represent Greece's eighth biggest tourist market and account for some €465 m in tourism revenue or 2.6% of the...

45 year old woman arrested in 72 kilo cannabis case

  Police have made a fourth arrest in connection with 72 kilos of cannabis that was discovered in a Limassol warehouse last week. Three men aged...

NASA resumes human spaceflight from U.S. soil with historic SpaceX launch

  SpaceX, the private rocket company of billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk, launched two Americans into orbit from Florida on Saturday in a landmark mission marking...

Taste

Local cuisine: An introduction

Rich in fresh ingredients and tasty herbs, offers the very best of Mediterranean culinary delights. Head out to a tavern and feast on a...

Spiced lamb with beetroot salad and scented yoghurt

Lay the lamb on a tray, skin side down. Rub with crushed garlic, sprinkle with spices and ground pistachios, wrap in plastic wrap and...

Easy seafood pasta with white wine sauce

Ingredients: 2-3 tbsp olive oil 1 garlic clove, chopped 2-3 tablespoons of whipped cream 1/3 cup white wine 300g spaghetti, roughly broken 300-400g of...

Traditional salads that will blow your mind away

This traditional salads will make you actually love salads! Cyprus may be famous for souvla and kleftiko but if you try the traditional salads with...