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Fire Breaks Out in Kyoto Animation's 1st Studio Building (Updated)

posted on by Rafael Antonio Pineda
Prefectural police arrest man who allegedly used "gasoline-like liquid" to start fire; 30 people injured

NHK reported on Thursday that a fire broke out, allegedly due to arson, at anime studio Kyoto Animation's 1st Studio building just past 10:00 a.m. JST. Kyoto Prefectural Police have already apprehended a man who supposedly used a "gasoline-like liquid" to start the fire. The Kyoto City Fire Department is currently on the scene, and there are at least 30 people who have sustained injuries as of press time, with 10 unconscious.

According to a report by The Kyoto Shimbun newspaper, nearby residents heard an explosion on the first floor of the building. NHK also quoted a man who supposedly heard an explosion in the building at around 10:30 a.m. JST, after which a fire erupted on the building's second and third floors.

Kyoto Animation's 1st Studio building is located near Rokujizō Station in Uji City in Kyoto. Most of the studio's main line production takes place inside the building. The company also has a head office, a 2nd Studio building, a Tokyo Office, and the Animation DO building in other locations.

Yoko Hatta founded the company as Kyoto Anime Studio in 1981, with her husband Hideaki Hatta as the president. The company has since worked on a number of notable anime productions, but is perhaps best known initially for The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, K-ON!, Lucky Star, and Clannad, and later for such works as Free!, Sound! Euphonium, A Silent Voice, Violet Evergarden, and Liz and the Blue Bird.

Update: The Mainichi Shimbun reported that, as of 12:15 p.m. JST, there were 10 people seriously injured (with some unconscious), 10 people moderately injured, and 18 people mildly injured, for a total of 38 people injured. Source: The Mainichi Shimbun (小田中大)

Update: The Mainichi Shimbun reported that, as of 12:17 p.m. JST, the suspect has admitted to starting the fire. According to police, the man was carrying identification that indicated that he was in his 40s. Source: The Mainichi Shimbun (小田中大)

Update: Music producer Suguru Yamaguchi, who worked with director Naoko Yamada and Kyoto Animation on the Tamako Market and Tamako Love Story anime, posted on his Twitter account at 12:23 p.m. that director Naoko Yamada is safe. ANN has not independently confirmed this information. Source: Suguru Yamaguchi's Twitter account

Update: NHK reported at 12:17 p.m. JST that the police have confirmed multiple deaths. Source: NHK News' Twitter account

Update: This article earlier stated that the suspect allegedly used gasoline, but news reports from the sources below indicate that it was instead a "gasoline-like liquid." ANN has changed the wording to reflect this. ANN has also added that the suspect's age was only identified through an ID he was carrying, as well as a disclaimer that ANN has not independently verified the safety of Naoko Yamada.

Sources: NHK, The Kyoto Shimbun, The Mainichi Shimbun (小田中大)

This article has a follow-up: Kyoto Police: 'Multiple Deaths' Confirmed in Kyoto Animation Fire (2019-07-17 23:42)
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