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Fire at ‘Tokyo Design Week’ event kills boy, 5, injures 2 others

A child was killed after an exhibit at a park caught fire in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo
A child was killed after an exhibit at a park caught fire in Shinjuku Ward, Tokyo

TOKYO (TR) – A boy died and two men were injured after a wooden art exhibit for children caught fire at an event in Shinjuku Ward on Sunday, Tokyo Metropolitan Police said.

Takehito Saeki, 5, was playing in a wooden jungle gym opened for use by children during an event called “Tokyo Design Week 2016” in Meiji Jingu Gaien Park when the exhibit caught fire and killed him at around 5:15 p.m., TV Asahi reports (November 6).

Takehito’s 44-year-old father and a 40-year-old man were also hospitalized after suffering injuries trying to save him, police said.

The fire could have stemmed from art arranged along the bottom of the jungle gym being illuminated and heated by lighting, authorities said, and launched an investigation to determine the cause.

Several children were playing inside the display measuring about three meters tall, five meters wide and two meters deep when it caught fire, which Takehito was unable to escape from.

A witness told TBS News that the fire was “pretty huge, like it exploded into being, and flames were rising almost two or three times as high as the exhibit.”

“It was a bit weird because some people started coming over thinking it was part of a show,” the witness said.

Another witness told TV Asahi that they “heard someone that seemed like a parent saying ‘a child is in there’ over and over.”

The wooden display was set up by the Nippon Institute of Technology to be on display until Monday.