33 dead in Japan studio fire, rescue ops continue
TOKYO (Reuters): As many as 33 people were killed and 36 injured due to an arson attack on an animation studio in Japan on Thursday, local media reported.
A man set fire to the three-story building of the Kyoto Animation studio in a suspected arson attack, Kyodo news reported.
Citing local police, the report said some 70 people were inside the studio when the fire started.
Flames broke out after a 41-year-old suspect allegedly spread an “unidentified liquid” that set off the blaze, the report said, citing Kyoto prefectural police and fire department officials.
Rescue operations are ongoing.
Japanese police said that fire started around 10.35 a.m. (0135GMT), and knives were also found at the scene.
Fans launch crowd-funding
Founded in 1981, Kyoto Animation is popular for such TV series as “K-On!” and “The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya,” both focusing on high school girls.
Soon after reports emerged that arson had gutted the studio’s building and equipment, Kyoto’s fans flooded social media with sympathy and solidarity.
Texas-based animation distributor Sentai Filmworks also launched a donation campaign on online crowdfunding site GoFundMe.