Multiple Dead, Dozens Injured in Suspected Arson at Kyoto Animation Studioby Tristan Oliver July 18, 2019
The people of Japan and fans of Japanese culture around the world are mourning another tragedy with mass casualties in the country.
On Thursday morning Japan time, a suspected arsonist deliberately set fire to the first floor of the Kyoto Animation studio 1 building. Citing officials, Japanese broadcaster NHK reports that 16 people have died as of the time of this article’s publication. Other unconfirmed reports suggest that number will rise with deaths not officially reported to police, and that at least three dozen others have been injured. Officials said at least 70 people were in the building at the time of the attack.
Police have taken one person suspected of starting the fire into custody. NHK reports witnesses who said the suspect was yelling Die in Japanese while pouring gasoline on the first floor of the building.
Before and after for Kyoto Animation Studio 1. So sad… pic.twitter.com/A65BqEs8Nn
— Zack Reese (@zackreese) July 18, 2019
Kyoto Animation was first established in 1981 and is best known by ANIME fans for their work on series such as K-On!, Full Metal Panic and The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. Kyoani also runs offices away from the site of the arson, including a second studio as well as offices in Tokyo.
The prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, has posted condolences to the victims in Japanese on his Twitter feed:
— 安倍晋三 (@AbeShinzo) July 18, 2019
Domestic ANIME studios including Funimation and Sentai Filmworks have also posted condolences. The latter company has established a GoFundMe to benefit the victims. As of the time of this article’s publication, more than $200,000 of a $500,000 goal has been raised.
Details are still developing, and we will bring you updates here and on our Twitter feed when made available.