24 dead in suspected arson attack on Japan animation studio

TOKYO (AFP) – A suspected arson attack on an animation production company in Japan killed 24 people and injured dozens more yesterday, with flames gutting the building in the city of Kyoto.

Police said the fierce blaze appeared to have been started deliberately but there was no immediate information on a possible motive.

The toll continued to climb hours after the fire began, with fire department officials saying bodies were being discovered as they searched the ravaged building.

A fire department official told AFP that at least 11 more people had been found “in cardio-respiratory arrest”, a term used in Japan to signify a victim’s death before it is officially certified.

The discoveries, on the building’s second floor and a stairwell leading to the roof, raised the toll to at least 24 dead.

Firefighters work as smoke billows from a building of Kyoto Animation in a fire in Kyoto, Japan. – AP