A man started a fire at a Kyoto animation studio after spraying a flammable liquid Thursday morning, leaving at least 13 dead and nearly 40 injured, several of them unconscious, local police and rescuers said, Kyodo reports.
Many bodies were found on the second floor of the three-story studio of Kyoto Animation Co., where about 70 people were believed to have been working when the fire started around 10:35 a.m.
The police said some people witnessed the man screaming "Die" as he set fire. They also found knives at the scene.
The 41-year-old man, who was among the injured and has been taken to hospital, has admitted to starting the fire, according to the police.
Kyoto Animation, known for short as "KyoAni" in Japan, has produced popular TV animation series including "K-On!" and "The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya" (Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu), which depict the daily lives of high school girls.
People near the studio said they heard a series of explosions and saw black smoke billowing out of the building. People were later seen being carried out of the studio covered in blankets.
A person with singed hair was lying down and there were bloody footprints," said a 59-year-old woman who lives nearby.
I heard a bang. The black smoke rose and the burning smell was awful," said a hair salon manager in his 30s.
Kyoto Animation has animation studios in Kyoto and nearby Uji, where it is headquartered. The studio in question is its 1st studio, according to the company.
The company, founded in 1981, has released a number of animations appealing to younger generations, particularly in the 2000s. Many fans have visited locations associated with the works.
Source: Kazinform News Agency
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