At least 33 people are dead and dozens injured after a man set the Kyoto Animation studio on fire Thursday.
What We Know:
- Kyoto Animation, also known as KyoAni, produces films and graphic novels, and is well known by fans for their high-quality productions.
- Police stated that the suspect (allegedly 41 years old) broke into the studio Thursday morning and sprayed petrol (he reportedly bought nine gallons of petrol at a nearby petrol station) before igniting it. The fire broke out around 10:30 am in the three-story building. There were about 70 people inside before the fire started.
- The suspect tried to run to a nearby train station but fell. He was also being chased down by other employees.
- The suspect has been since taken to the hospital with injuries and detained. Knives were also found at the scene and the suspect reportedly kept stating “drop dead” as he set fire to the building. The relationship he has with the studio is still unknown.
- Considered one of Japan’s worst mass casualty incidents since World War II, Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the incident was “too appalling for words” and offered condolences.
- Kazuhiro Hayashi, a Japanese official, said most of the casualties had been on the stairs to the top floor, where they apparently collapsed trying to escape. 33 bodies were found and about 36 are in the hospital with injuries.
- Prior to the fire, the company was receiving threatening e-mails addressed to the office and sales department telling them to die. It’s sad that a company working on bringing joy to others was attacked in such a brutal way.
Praying for the families of the victims and those injured.