34th Victim of Kyoto Animation Fire Passes Away
posted on by Jennifer Sherman
Kyoto Prefectural Police announced on Friday that one more male victim of Thursday's fire at Kyoto Animation's 1st Studio building has passed away. He was being treated for his injuries at a hospital. The death toll of the blaze caused by suspected arson now stands at 34 people.
On Thursday at around 10:30 a.m. JST, a devastating fire broke out at Kyoto Animation's 1st Studio building, initially killing 33 people and injuring 35 others. 30 fire engines responded to the fire, and firefighters were able to extinguish the fire within five hours after it started, but the fire was not fully put out until 6:20 a.m. on Friday.
Of those confirmed dead after being located at the studio, firefighters found two people on the first floor, 11 people on the second floor, one person in a stairwell between the second and third floors, and 19 people on the stairwell between the third floor and the rooftop.
Kyoto Prefectural Police have already apprehended a 41-year-old man who allegedly used gasoline to start the fire, and are investigating the case as arson. The suspect is among those injured (although he is separate from the above-mentioned injured people).
The Mainichi Shimbun newspaper stated that according to investigative sources, the suspect told police that he started the fire because he alleges Kyoto Animation "stole his novel." NHK has also stated that according to investigative sources, the suspect was indicted in 2012 for a convenience store robbery, and served 3.5 years in prison. Police have yet to fully arrest or interrogate the suspect, as he is still injured, and as such have not released an official statement on the suspect's motive. Police will later interrogate the subject to obtain his motive for the alleged attack.
Editors note: ANN's news team have decided not to publish the name of the suspect accused of arson.
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.
Kyoto Animation president Hideaki Hatta stated on Friday that all of the past animation materials and computers housed in Kyoto Animation's 1st Studio building were destroyed in Thursday's fire in the building. Hatta told the media, "The [monetary] amount of the damage? Extreme. I don't know the full details."
Hatta said in the interview, "I am deeply heartbroken. I can't bear it. I never even in my dreams would have thought such a large disaster would happen." He later added, "This is a serious blow to our company and our industry. Every one of them was an excellent and wonderful colleague."
Aside from a fire in a commercial building that killed 44 people in 2001 (where arson was suspected), the incident is the worst mass murder in Japan's post-World War II history.