At least 1 dead in suspected arson at Kyoto anime studio

Photo by the Kyodo. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

TOKYO, Jul 18, 2019, Kyodo. A man started a fire at a Kyoto animation studio after spraying a liquid there Thursday morning, leaving at least one dead and nearly 40 others injured, several of them unconscious, local police and rescuers said, reported the Kyodo.

The police said they are trying to confirm information that some people may have failed to escape the three-story studio of Kyoto Animation Co. after the fire started around 10:30 a.m.

The company is known for producing popular TV animation series “K-On!” and “The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya” (Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu).

The 41-year-old man who is believed to have set the fire was among the injured and has been taken to a hospital, the police said.

People near the site said they heard a series of explosions and saw a mass of black smoke coming out of the building. People were later seen being carried out of the site covered in blankets.

“A person with singed hair was lying down and there were bloody footprints,” said a 59-year-old woman living nearby.

“I heard a bang and the black smoke and the burning smell were awful,” said a hair salon manager in his 30s.

Kyoto Animation, known for short as “KyoAni” in Japan, has animation studios in Kyoto and nearby Uji, where it is headquartered. The company, founded in 1981, has released a number of animations appealing to younger generations, particularly in the 2000s. Many fans have visited locations associated with the works.

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