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24 Feared Dead in Suspected Arson Attack at Japan Film Studio

24 Feared Dead in Suspected Arson Attack at Japan Film Studio: At least 24 people are feared dead in a suspected arson attack on an animation company in the Japanese city of Kyoto on Thursday, 18 July 2019. According to an official, one person had been found on the second floor of the building “in cardio-respiratory arrest”, a term used in Japan to signify a victim’s death before it is officially certified. 10 or more people were found in the same condition on the stairs from the second floor to the roof, bringing the total toll in the blaze so far to at least 24.

Smoke billows from a three-story building of Kyoto Animation in a fire in Kyoto, western Japan, Thursday, July 18, 2019. Kyoto prefectural police said the fire broke out Thursday morning after a man burst into it and spread unidentified liquid and put fire.(Kyodo News via AP)

Public broadcaster NHK reported that the police had taken into custody a 41-year-old man who shouted “Die!” as he poured what appeared to be gasoline around the studio. The man was injured and was being treated at a hospital, preventing police from conducting a proper interview yet.

Footage on Japan’s NHK national television showed white and black smoke billowing out of the many windows of the ochre-hued building of Kyoto Animation. Several popular series such as the “Sound! Euphonium” has been produced by the studio and its “Free! Road to the World – The Dream” movie is due for release this month.

According to the reports of Kyodo News, the neighborhood witnesses said that they heard bangs coming from the building, while others told that they saw people coming out of the building blackened, bleeding, walking barefoot.

The rescue officials set up an orange tent outside the studio building to provide first aid and sort out the injured

Also, a Kyoto city fire department official told that one person was confirmed dead and 12 others found without vital signs on the first and second floors of the building while another 36 were injured, including 10 seriously. He further added that more than 70 people were in the building at the time of the fire. Many of them ran outside, but about 30 people still could not be reached.

The Kyoto police declined to comment as of now.