Ten dead after suspected arson attack at Japan animation studio

Thu 18 Jul 2019 06:17 GMT | 10:17 Local Time

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At least 10 people have died in a suspected arson attack at an animation studio in Kyoto, Japan, local emergency officials have said, BBC News reported.

Local media quoted police as saying a man broke into the Kyoto Animation Co studio on Thursday morning and sprayed an unidentified liquid around.

Dozens of people are also reported to have been injured.

The suspect, who has not been named, has been detained and was taken to hospital with injuries.

"A man threw a liquid and set fire to it," a Kyoto prefectural police spokesman told news agency AFP. No other details of the suspect or possible motives were given.

Public broadcaster NHK said the man had been heard saying "drop dead" as he set fire to the building.

The fire broke out at the three-storey building at around 10:30am (01:35 GMT) on Thursday. Rescue operations are still ongoing.

"We are trying to bring out several victims who are trapped inside the three-story building, including ones who may not be able to move by themselves," a fire department spokesman told AFP.

People near the site said they heard a series of explosions and later saw people carried out in blankets.

"A person with singed hair was lying down and there were bloody footprints," a 59-year-old woman living nearby told news agency Kyodo.

Another witness said he saw "red flames flaring".

Kyoto Animation, known as KyoAni, produces popular animation shows including "K-On" and "The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya".

On social media, many fans have been expressing their shock and posting pictures of their favourite KyoAni shows.

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