Fire Department: 33 People Confirmed Dead in Kyoto Animation Fire (Updated)
posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
This is a developing story. ANN will update this article and will post follow-up articles as more credible and accurate information about the situation surfaces.
Japan's national news agency NHK reported on Thursday at 9:21 p.m. that, according to the Kyoto Fire Department, 33 people are confirmed to have died in the fire that engulfed Kyoto Animation's 1st Studio building earlier on Thursday.
Of those 33 people, NHK reports that 12 were men, 20 were women, and one is unknown. NHK is still reporting that 35 people were injured. The Kyoto Fire Department has now finished its rescue efforts inside the building, and can confirm there is no one left in the building.
NHK previously reported exactly 73 people were in the building, but now report a number of "around 70." Police had previously reported that seven people were confirmed safe and five people were unaccounted for, but NHK's reports no longer list those numbers.
Of those confirmed dead, firefighters found two people on the first floor, 11 people on the second floor, and 20 people on the third floor or on the stairwell between the third floor and the rooftop.
In Japan, police do not confirm a death at the scene; instead, the victim must be transported to a hospital and a qualified doctor must first confirm the death before police can officially confirm the death.
NHK stated 30 fire engines responded to the fire, and were able to extinguish the fire completely by 3:19 p.m. JST, five hours after the fire started. The fire broke out at the building around 10:30 a.m. JST on Thursday. Kyoto Prefectural Police have already apprehended a 41-year-old man who supposedly used a "gasoline-like liquid" to start the fire, and are investigating the case as arson. The suspect is among those injured.
Kyoto Animation's president Hideaki Hatta stated on Thursday that the company had "often received notices such as death threats, starting a few years ago." NHK reported that police are looking into an incident where a man bought 40 liters of gasoline near the 1st Studio building around 10:00 a.m. JST, 30 minutes before the fire broke out.
Japan's Prime Minister Shinzō Abe posted a statement on Twitter on Thursday praying for those who have died and for the swift recovery of those who are injured.
Fans around the world have taken to Tweeting support for the studio using the hashtags #PrayForKyoAni and #PrayForKyotoAnimation.
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.
Updates: This article has been updated several times to update the death toll, and to report that the fire has now been completely put out. The article also now contains statements from Kyoto Animation's president Hideaki Hatta and Japan's Prime Minister Shinzō Abe, and gives more information about the police's investigation into the incident.
this article has been modified since it was originally posted; see change history