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A fire at an animation studio in the city of Kyoto, western Japan, has reportedly injured more than 30 people. Police say that about 10 of them are unconscious.
Neighbors reported the fire at Kyoto Animation’s studio at around 10:30 a.m. on Thursday. They say they heard what sounded like an explosion, after which they saw smoke.
Firefighters are still working to put out the blaze, but no damage to nearby homes has been reported.
Police say a man poured what appeared to be gasoline around the studio. He has been taken into custody.
Kyoto Animation’s website says the company based in Uji City was founded in 1981. It produces animations, sells related goods and trains animators.
Kyoto Animation, one of Japan’s most popular anime studios, was reportedly set ablaze this morning in Japan. A man in his 40s was allegedly seen pouring a flammable liquid and setting it ablaze. He is currently in police custody.
At around 10 am, residents living near the studio called the police, saying there was the sound of an explosion and that smoke was emitting from the building, which is located in Kyoto’s Fushimi area.
Update: July 18 – 12:46 am: According to Japanese TV news, there are still people trapped in the studio and there are twenty people who are still unaccounted for.
Update 2: July 18 – 12:59 am: One witness said the suspect was screaming “die” as he lit the fire.
Update 3: July 18 – 3:08 am: The Japanese media is now reporting that seven people are confirmed dead.
Update 4: July 18 – 3:30 am: An announced scheduled for July 19 for Kyoto Animation’s new Free! movie has been canceled. [Eds Note: This originally stated the movie had been canceled. It has not. We regret the error.]
Update 5: July 18 – 4:36 am: Sixteen people are now confirmed dead, the Japanese TV media reports.
Located in a residential area, the building is Kyoto Animation’s No. 1 Studio, NHK reports. The studio’s head office is in Uji City, Kyoto, which is about twenty minutes away by car.