34 Injured Kyoto Animation Victims No Longer in Life-Threatening Condition
posted on by Jennifer Sherman, Rafael Antonio Pineda
The Kyodo news service reported on Wednesday that the 34 people injured in the July 18 fire at Kyoto Animation's Studio 1 building are no longer in life-threatening condition. A source close to the investigation told Kyodo that some injured victims with severe burns remain in the intensive care unit, but all of the victims are progressing toward recovery. The fire claimed the lives of 35 other victims.
Authorities have constructed a model of Kyoto Animation's Studio 1 building. They are using the model in conjunction with the victims' testimonies about where they were at the time of the incident, how they escaped, and other things they observed on the day of the fire.
The Asahi Shimbun newspaper and the Asahi Broadcasting News previously reported that seven injured women were still undergoing treatment at the hospital as of September 6. Three were in critical condition, one was in serious condition, and three were still being treated for burns or broken bones.
A total of 70 people were inside the building when the July 18 fire broke out. In addition to those victims, a man in his 40s on his way to work in the area suffered minor injuries from smoke inhalation.
Among those injured, there are 15 men and 19 women, with ages ranging from 21 to 53 years old. More than 70% of the injured are in their 20s and 30s, and mostly from the prefectures of Kyoto, Osaka, Shiga, and Nara. The Asahi Shimbun reported that there are several workers who are unable to return to work due to the trauma they experienced.
Additionally, Kyodo reported on Wednesday that the 41-year-old man who allegedly used gasoline to start the fire has regained speech in the hospital. Police have obtained a warrant for the man's arrest, but doctors must decide he can tolerate confinement before police are able to arrest him. The man had been in critical condition after receiving severe burns in the fire he allegedly started, but he regained the ability to make simple gestures by the beginning of August. Sources stated that the man received skin graft surgery and is in stable condition, but he still needs a ventilator and is undergoing rehabilitation. Sources expect that the man will remain in the hospital for several more months.
Kyodo also reported that donations to Kyoto Animation have surpassed 2.5 billion yen (about US$23 million).
The studio's official website revealed on Friday that Kyoto Animation had received an additional donation of 81,034,121 yen (about US$749,000) from the retail chain Animate on September 6, for a total of 330,064,605 yen (about US$3.05 million) from the company. The retailer made a deposit of 249,030,484 yen (about US$2.3 million) in donations into Kyoto Animation's bank account on August 2. Animate began its donation campaign for Kyoto Animation on July 19 and ended it on September 1.
Kyoto Animation received a donation of 226,749,396 yen (about US$2.10 million) from Sentai Filmworks' GoFundMe campaign on August 26. The campaign had raised more than US$2 million as of July 25. Sentai Filmworks stated in an update this past Monday that the transfer represents nearly all of the funds raised in the campaign, after transactional and processing fees. The company plans to disburse the reserved US$100,000 on deposit with GoFundMe for credit card processing and settlement purposes in or around December. Sentai Filmworks will then transfer the remaining balance to Kyoto Animation.
Kyoto International Manga Museum and Kyoto Seika University transferred a donation of 4,249,003 yen (about US$39,000) on August 8. Visual Art's/Key revealed in August that it donated 10 million yen (about US$94,000) to Kyoto Animation. X Japan member YOSHIKI also announced in August that he donated 10 million yen to the studio.
Kyoto Animation opened account on July 24 to accept donations. The studio revealed earlier this month that it has handed control of the account to the custody of the Kyoto Prefectural Government, who will oversee the donation money's transfer to the victims of the fire and their families. Kyoto Animation added that it will not handle the money itself.
Kyodo noted that the recovery of Kyoto Animation as a business will likely take much more time because 20 percent of its employees passed away in the fire on July 18. According to Daisuke Okeda, Kyoto Animation's lawyer, personal damages resulting from the fire amount to more than 4 billion yen (about US$38 million), even after workers' compensation.