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

143 new cases of COVID-19, one death announced on Wednesday

The Health Ministry announced the death of one person due to COVID-19. This raises the death toll from the virus in Cyprus to 231,...

Spa uses thermal water to help recovering Covid patients

A thermal baths spa in the city of Pisa, where a day to unwind and relaxation is not possible due to Covid restrictions, is...

Fire in Limassol, near Koilani village

The Fire Service in Limassol has been mobilized after a fire broke out in a hard to reach area of Koilani village, According to the...

Truck collides with van; One person in hospital

An accident occurred at the old Nicosia-Limassol road when a truck collided with a van and as a result one person was injured. According to...

More than 64,000 vaccinations in Cyprus.

In an announcement, the Health Ministry noted that Cyprus is moving ahead toward the completion of one of its main targets, regarding the vaccination...

Taste

Squash soup

Ingredients: 1 kg pumpkin, cut into small cubes, approximately 5 cups 2 medium (400g) sweet potatoes, cut into cubes, approximately 2 ½ cups 1 chopped leek, only...

Mezedes

No visit to Cyprus is complete without enjoying the traditional meal of many small dishes known as ‘meze’. This large feast, which has been a...

Prawns with fried cheese, barley shaped pasta

Put the barley shaped pasta into a small pan with salted water, bring to a boil and when tender, drain. Peal the prawns leaving...

Salmon and shrimp sheftalies

Mix all ingredients for tabbouli in a bowl and keep to one side so flavours can combine. Prepare the sheftalies: wash and soak the casing...