Kyoto Animation President: 27 of 33 Injured Staff Have Returned to Work (Updated)

posted on by Crystalyn Hodgkins
KyoAni's Hatta: Company plans to open Violet Evergarden film after April

Kyoto Animation president Hideaki Hatta held a press conference in Kyoto on Friday, and announced that 27 of the 33 victims injured in the fire at the company's Studio 1 building have returned to work.

Hatta stated during the conference, "until July 18, Person A, Person B, and Person C were all at the company. And suddenly, those people all passed away. It's incredibly tough mentally." He added, "Many staff are still feeling extremely stressed. The staff are talking and supporting one another while dealing with starting work again. We are working with medical institutions to provide psychological care." Hatta stated that the number of people who retired from the company after the incident is very few.

Hatta expressed his gratitude for all the messages from everyone around the world such as the "Pray for KyoAni" and "hang in there" messages, as well as all the donations the company has received.

The city of Kyoto announced on Thursday that the bank account accepting donations on behalf of the company has reached 2,915,460,000 yen (about US$26.8 million).

Hatta also talked about work on the delayed Violet Evergarden film, and the upcoming Free! film slated to premiere next summer. He stated that the company is working first on getting Violet Evergarden into theaters after April 2020. Then while working on that, the company is also looking at the situation for what will come afterward.

Violet Evergarden was originally slated to open on January 10, but Kyoto Animation announced on September 6 that the film is delayed.

On July 18, a devastating fire broke out at Kyoto Animation's Studio 1 building. A total of 70 people were inside the building at the time. The fire killed 36 people, and injured 33 others. In addition to those victims, a man in his 40s on his way to work in the area suffered minor injuries from smoke inhalation.

Kyoto Prefectural Police have apprehended a 41-year-old man who allegedly used gasoline to start the fire, and they are investigating the case as arson. Police have yet to arrest the man as he is still in the hospital recovering from his injuries from the fire. The man is now undergoing rehabilitation and is starting to walk and talk.

Kyoto Animation plans to host a memorial event for the general public on November 3-4 in Kyoto, although the company has yet to announce specific details for the event. The company held a private mourning event in late September for bereaved families, employees, and injured victims. Around 250 people attended the event.

Update: NHK reported on Friday that four injured victims from the incident are still hospitalized. Source: NHK News

Sources: Kyoto Shimbun (link 2, link 3), NHK News via Game Yoridori SubCul Midori Park

This article has a follow-up: Kyoto Animation Details Public Memorial Service (2019-10-18 09:34)
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