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Dozens hurt after fire breaks out at Kyoto Animation; man in custody

KYOTO (TR) – A man is in custody after dozens of people were hurt in a fire that broke out at the offices of Kyoto Animation Co. in Kyoto City on Thursday, police said, reports the Mainichi Shimbun (July 18).

At around 10:35 a.m., emergency services received a distress call about “an explosion on the first floor” of Studio 1 of Kyoto Animation in Fushimi Ward.

Thirty fire trucks from the Kyoto City Fire Department arrived at the scene to battle the blaze, which spread to the entirety of the three-floor reinforced concrete structure.

The fire department has confirmed that 10 persons suffered serious injuries — some of whom are unconscious — and another 10 were moderately hurt. Eighteen others suffered minor injuries.

Kyoto Animation
Anime studio Kyoto Animation was set ablaze on Thursday (YouTube)

A witness reported seeing an adult male spraying around a liquid that seemed to be gasoline inside the building and setting it ablaze. The man police have in custody is currently receiving medical attention.

The case is being treated as arson, police said.

Established in 1981, Kyoto Animation is known for producing a number of television series, including “The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya” and “K-On!” In January, “Tsurune,” an adaptation of the novel by Kotoko Ayano, completed its run on public broadcaster NHK.

Update: One person has been confirmed dead, nine others remain unconscious, according to TV Asahi (July 18).