At least 24 people are dead or presumed dead in a suspected arson attack at an animation studio in the western city of Kyoto, one of the worst violent attacks in Japan in decades.
Police said they detained a man on suspicion of starting the fire at a studio of Kyoto Animation Co. on Thursday morning. Around 70 people were working in the building, according to the Kyoto City fire department.
A fire department official said 14 people were confirmed dead and at least 10 others were in a state of cardiopulmonary arrest. In Japan, deaths must be confirmed by a doctor before being announced.
The official said 36 other people were confirmed as having been injured in the attack, 10 of them seriously. Television footage showed smoke and flames billowing out of all three stories of the charred building. Fire crews took five hours to put out the blaze.
Public broadcaster NHK said a man was seen spreading a liquid around the building before starting the blaze. The man shouted “Die!” as he set fire to the building, according to several local reports, citing the police.
A woman living near the studio told the Mainichi newspaper, a national daily, that a man badly injured in the fire came to her door. When the police arrived, the man admitted setting fire to the building and said he was angry because the company had stolen his ideas, according to the account.