KYOTO, JAPAN. (THECOUNT) — A major anime studio fire in Kyoto, Japan, has killed at least 30 Thursday.
Over 70 individuals were in the building at the time of the blaze.
Flames engulfed Kyoto Animation in a suspected act of arson that killed at least 30 people, according to Japan’s national broadcaster NHK.
“Dozens more are injured and some others are without vital signs,” the broadcaster said.
Death tolls from the fire at Kyoto Animation have varied – reporter Abigail Leonard told NPR that Kyoto fire department official Yusuke Hisanage said seven people were pronounced dead and 20 others had “no vital signs.” He added that thirty-six people were suffering injuries, ranging from minor to severe, reports SpokanePublicRadio.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said in a tweet that the apparently deliberate act is “too appalling for words.”
According to local media reports, a man reportedly burst into Kyoto Animation’s building and shouted “die” as he poured out a flammable liquid. At the time, there were reportedly about 70 people in the building. A suspect in his 40s has been taken into custody.
“The man reportedly admitted as he was being taken to hospital that he spread the liquid around before setting it on fire,” NHK reported.
It’s not clear what the suspect’s relationship is to the anime studio, sometimes called KyoAni and famous for popular series such as Lucky Star, K-On! and Violet Evergarden.
It’s also known in the anime industry for its more generous system of worker pay, the BBC reported. “The studio is also known for paying its animators a regular salary, breaking with the industry’s standard of paying per frame which is seen as putting extreme pressure on staff.”
Geo quick facts: Kyoto, once the capital of Japan, is a city on the island of Honshu. It’s famous for its numerous classical Buddhist temples, as well as gardens, imperial palaces, Shinto shrines and traditional wooden houses. It’s also known for formal traditions such as kaiseki dining, consisting of multiple courses of precise dishes, and geisha, female entertainers often found in the Gion district – wikipedia.