Japan: 23 confirmed or presumed dead in arson at animation studio

A Japanese fire official says at least 23 people are now confirmed or presumed dead in a suspected arson attack at a popular animation production studio in Kyoto.

Kyoto fire department official Satoshi Fujiwara says 36 others have been injured, some of them critical.

He says firefighters found more than 10 people presumed dead on the top floor of a three-story building, some of them collapsed on the stairs leading to the roof.

Earlier, authorities had confirmed seven dead and six others presumed dead.

Rescue officials set up a tent outside the building to provide first aid and sort out the injured. Fire department officials say more than 70 people were in the building at the time of the fire, but most of them ran outside.

Witnesses in the neighborhood said they heard bangs coming from the building, others said they saw people coming out of the building blackened, bleeding, walking barefoot, Kyodo News reported.

Footage on Japan’s NHK national television showed gray smoke billowing from the charred building.


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