UPDATE 3 (08:50pm PHT): Fire department officials has now confirmed to Japanese broadcaster NHK that at least 33 people had died in the suspected arson attack at Kyoto Animation studio in Western Japan.
UPDATE 2 (07:15pm PHT): Japanese broadcaster NHK has now reported at 07:58pm local time (06:58pm PHT) that the death toll in the fire that engulfed the animation studio Kyoto Animation has increased to 25 people, according to the police. The authorities are now saying that there are still five others that are still unaccounted for.
Hideki Hatta, president of the anime studio, has revealed to Japanese media that they have received several threatening emails to their sales department, telling them “to die”.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has posted a tweet about the arson, saying that he was “speechless”. He has also offered his condolences to the people that passed away, as well as speedy recovery to the injured.
— 安倍晋三 (@AbeShinzo) July 18, 2019
UPDATE (04:50pm PHT): Japanese public broadcaster NHK has now reported at 05:42pm local time (04:42pm PHT) that the death toll in the fire that engulfed the animation studio Kyoto Animation has increased to 16 people, according to the police.
Japanese public broadcaster NHK as reported that, according to the police, at least 12 people had died in the fire that engulfed Kyoto Animation’s first studio in Kyoto, Japan on Thursday.
The fire that engulfed the building has been extingushed after about five hours.
The broadcaster also reports that, according to the police, 70 people, mainly employees of the animation studio, were inside the building when the fire broke out.
The police also reported that there are about 10 people that are critically injured, six people that are moderately injured and 20 with minor injuries, which has been taken to the hospital.
The authorities are still trying to confirm information that 30 people are still unaccounted for, and about a dozen people, who have apparently suffered cardiac arrest, had been found in the first and second floors of the building.
The police had reported that a man, who is 41 years old according to a driver’s license he was carrying, has poured a gasoline-like substance inside the studio and set it on fire.
The suspect has reportedly admitted to committing arson as he was also injured in the fire and was taken to the hospital.
According to eyewitnesses, the man was heard shouting “Die!” before setting the building on fire. There are also multiple knife-like objects found at the scene, but it is not yet known if they are owned by the suspect.
Kyoto Animation was founded in 1981 by Yoko Hatta and her husband Hideaki Hatta. The animation studio is known for producing several popular anime titles in recent years like The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, K-On!, Free! Iwatobi Swim Club and Violet Evergarden among others.