Fire gutted in Kyoto Animation, a popular animation studio in Japan, was set ablaze in an arson attack that left at least 33 dead and 36 injured, a Japanese fire official told AP News.
Police have arrested a suspect, who has reportedly admitted to the crime according to The Hollywood Reporter. One of those missing is thought to be Yasuhiro Takemoto.
Witnesses said the suspect screamed, “you die” as he set the fire, CBS News reports.
Here’s everything you need to know about the Kyoto Animation fire.
1. There Are Numerous Kyoto Employees Still Missing
A Japanese fire official told AP News that at least 33 people are dead. 12 of the victims were men, 20 were women and another one’s gender couldn’t be identified, according to CNN. 36 others are injured with 10 having critical injuries.
He also said earlier that up to 18 other people could not be reached but it is not clear if they were at the building for work on the day of the attack. According to NHK, Japan’s national public broadcasting service, there are still five people missing. One of the missing is presumed to be Yasuhiro Takemoto, who directed many of the animation studio’s most popular works according to Heavy.
A fire official said that firefighters found 20 people dead on the top floor of the building, which is where most of the victims were located. Some of them were found collapsed on the stairs leading to the roof. They also found two dead on the first floor and 11 dead on the second floor.
According to NHK, several people also suffered heart attacks but were left behind as rescue efforts continued.
Correction: The NHK actually described people as being in cardiac arrest, where their heart stops beating and they stop breathing. They can only be mentioned in this state until a doctor presumes them dead. The mention that they had heart attacks resulted from a mistranslation. We apologize for the lack of clarification.
Police told NHK that around 70 people were working inside the building when it when it was set ablaze.
30 fire trucks arrived at the fire at the 1st Studio Building in Uji, Kyoto and casualties were driven to multiple hospitals in the city, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The fire reached all three of the floors of the building, according to footage shot from a helicopter from NHK.
Rescue efforts have finished and no one, alive or dead, is left in the building, according to NHK.
According to AP News, this is the deadliest fire since 2001 when a fire in Tokyo’s Kabukicho entertainment district killed 44 people.
People were running outside covered in flames, according to Kyoto Newspaper.
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A man working nearby told NHK that around 10:30 a.m. local time he heard an explosion from the building. A nearby shopkeeper told Mainichi News that she heard a young woman cry out “some stranger spread fuel and lit it! Help us!”
A 59-year-old woman told The Japan Times that a person with burned hair was lying down and there were bloody footprints. A hair salon manager told the publication that he heard a bang and that “the black smoke and the burning smell were awful.”
3. The Suspect Was Arrested, No Motive Has Been Determined Yet
According to CNN, the suspect is a 41-year-old man who walked into the studio and poured what appeared to be gasoline around the building before setting fire to it. The suspect was among the people injured in the attack and is currently being treated for serious burns at the hospital.
According to AP News, the suspect may have started the fire at the front door of the building to force people to find other exits and slow their escape.
The suspect was arrested and has reportedly admitted to the crime, according to The Hollywood Reporter. A motive has not been determined at this time, according to the publication.
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The suspect was also carrying a backpack full of knives during the attack, according to CNN.
Hideaki Hatta, the head of Kyoto Animation, told reporters that the company had received anonymous death threats via email in the past but that they responded “sincerely” to them each time. It is unknown if the suspect behind the arson attack was one of the people who sent those threats.
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“Why on earth did such violence have to be used?” Hatta said.
Kyoto Animation, or Kyoani as it’s also known, was founded in 1981, according to the company’s official website.
The studio is behind lots of different and fan-favorite anime for both television and film. They also release their own merchandise, novels, comics and art books, according to the website. Here’s a list of some of their most popular works, in order of most recently released:Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon MaidA Silent Voice: The MovieAmagi Brilliant ParkFree! -Iwatobi Swim Club-The Disappearance of Haruhi SuzumiyaK-ON!ClannadLucky StarMelancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya
Here’s the company’s corporate philosophy, according to the website:
“Since inauguration, our principles are ‘Make a challenge,’ ‘Do the best,’ ‘Produce required works’ and ‘Keep our corporate as a humanitarian one.’ We value people. Promoting the growth of people is equal to creating the brightness of works. We sincerely keep moving forward to be an Entertainment Corporation which based on Animation.”
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