Fire engulfs Japanese studio; at least 23 feared dead
At least 23 people are feared dead with atleast 36 injured and more people are missing after a suspected arson attack on an animation studio in the Japanese city of Kyoto.
Emergency authorities have indicated that the death toll is likely to rise, while there are reports that the man had some sort of financial grievance against the company.
According to police, the man ran into the three-storey studios and offices of Kyoto Animation Co. shortly before 10.30am. Witnesses say he sprayed a liquid around the ground floor of the building and set fire to it and was shouting “Go die”. Police say that around 70 people were in the building when the fire broke out.
The police questioned a 41-year-old man who was suspected to have set the fire after spreading a liquid. He was receiving treatment at a hospital, according to local news reports.
White and black smoke billowed from the building’s charred windows, television footage showed.
“I heard the sound of fire engines and stepped outside my house, and saw big flames spewing out of the building,” 16-year-old witness
“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.
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.