sunny.png
Wednesday January 22nd, 2020 2:27PM

Man shouting 'You die' kills 33 at Japan anime studio

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

TOKYO (AP) — A man screaming "You die!" burst into an animation studio in Kyoto, doused it with a flammable liquid and set it on fire Thursday, killing 33 people in an attack that shocked the country and brought an outpouring of grief from anime fans.

Thirty-six others were injured, some of them critically, in a blaze that sent people scrambling up the stairs toward the roof in a desperate — and futile — attempt to escape what proved to be Japan's deadliest fire in nearly two decades. Others emerged bleeding, blackened and barefoot.

The suspect, identified only a 41-year-old man who did not work for the studio, was injured and taken to a hospital. Police gave no details on the motive, but a witness told Japanese TV that the attacker angrily complained that something of his had been stolen, possibly by the company.

Most of the victims were employees of Kyoto Animation, which does work on movies and TV productions but is best known for its mega-hit stories featuring high school girls. The tales are so popular that fans make pilgrimages to some of the places depicted.

The blaze started in the three-story building in Japan's ancient capital after the attacker sprayed an unidentified liquid accelerant, police and fire officials said.

"There was an explosion, then I heard people shouting, some asking for help," a witness told TBS TV. "Black smoke was rising from windows on upper floors. Ten there was a man struggling to crawl out of the window."

Japanese media reported the fire might have been set near the front door, forcing people to find other ways out.

The building has a spiral staircase that may have allowed flames and smoke to rise quickly to the top floor, NHK noted. Fire expert Yuji Hasemi at Waseda University told NHK that paper drawings and other documents in the studio also may have contributed to the fire's rapid spread.

Firefighters found 33 bodies, 20 of them on the third floor and some on the stairs to the roof, where they had apparently collapsed, Kyoto fire official Kazuhiro Hayashi said. Two were found dead on the first floor, 11 others on the second floor, he said.

A witness who saw the attacker being approached by police told Japanese media that the man admitted spreading gasoline and setting the fire with a lighter. She told NHK public television that the man had burns on his arms and legs and complained that something had been stolen from him.

She told Kyodo News that his hair got singed and his legs were exposed because his jeans were burned below the knees.

"He sounded he had a grudge against the society, and he was talking angrily to the policemen, too, though he was struggling with pain," she told Kyodo News. "He also sounded he had a grudge against Kyoto Animation."

NHK footage also showed sharp knives police had collected from the scene, though it was not clear if they belonged to the attacker.

Survivors said he was screaming "You die!" as he dumped the liquid, according to Japanese media. They said some of the survivors got splashed with the liquid.

Kyoto Animation, better known as KyoAni, was founded in 1981 as an animation and comic book production studio, and its hits include "Lucky Star" of 2008, "K-On!" in 2011 and "Haruhi Suzumiya" in 2009.

The company does not have a major presence outside Japan, though it was hired to do secondary animation work on a 1998 "Pokemon" feature that appeared in U.S. theaters and a "Winnie the Pooh" video.

"My heart is in extreme pain. Why on earth did such violence have to be used?" company president Hideaki Hatta said. Hatta said the company had received anonymous death threats by email in the past, but he did not link them to Thursday's attack.

Anime fans expressed anger, prayed and mourned the victims on social media. A crowd-funding site was set up to help the company rebuild.

Fire officials said more than 70 people were in the building at the time.

The death toll exceeded that of a 2016 attack by a man who stabbed and killed 19 people at a nursing home in Tokyo.

A fire in 2001 in Tokyo's congested Kabukicho entertainment district killed 44 people in the country's worst known case of arson in modern times. Police never announced an arrest in the setting of the blaze, though five people were convicted of negligence.

____

This story has been corrected to say company president's first name is Hideaki, not Hideki.

___

Follow Mari Yamaguchi on Twitter at https://www.twitter.com/mariyamaguchi

  • Associated Categories: Local/State News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP World News, AP Entertainment, AP Online TV News, AP Business, AP Business - Corporate News
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Man shouting 'You die' kills 33 at Japan anime studio
A man screaming "You die!" burst into an animation production studio and set it on fire, leaving nearly 30 people confirmed or presumed dead, shocking anime fans in and outside Japan
9:36AM ( 11 minutes ago )
Cyprus detains 12 Israelis for 8 days over alleged rape
A Cyprus court has ordered 12 Israelis vacationing on the east Mediterranean island nation to remain in police custody for eight days after a 19-year-old British woman alleged that she was raped
9:14AM ( 33 minutes ago )
Author Laura Lippman has 5-book deal, not all of them novels
Prize-winning crime novelist Laura Lippman has several new books planned, not all of them fiction
9:13AM ( 34 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Man shouting 'You die' kills nearly 30 at Japan anime studio
A man screaming "You die!" burst into an animation production studio and set it on fire, leaving nearly 30 people confirmed or presumed dead, shocking anime fans in and outside Japan
8:17AM ( 1 hour ago )
Louvre in Paris removes Sackler name after opioid protests
France's Louvre Museum in Paris has become the first major institution to remove the Sackler family name after protests erupted against the family that is blamed for the deadly opioid crisis in the United States
7:21AM ( 2 hours ago )
Louvre museum covers Sackler name after opioid protests
France's Louvre museum has taped over the Sackler name as donors to a wing of the building after protests against the family blamed for the opioid crisis in the United States
5:54AM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Entertainment
Price, Eckersley feuding again after Eck's comments to Globe
David Price ignited an old feud Wednesday with Red Sox TV analyst Dennis Eckersley after the Hall of Fame pitcher commented about a confrontation between the men in a story by The Boston Globe this week
7:38PM ( 14 hours ago )
Netflix's 2Q dud rattles investors as competition heats up
Netflix's subscriber growth slows dramatically in second quarter with stiffer video streaming competition on the way
7:35PM ( 14 hours ago )
Netflix's subscriber growth tapers off in 2Q, stock tanks
Netflix's subscriber growth slows dramatically in second quarter with stiffer video streaming competition on the way
6:04PM ( 15 hours ago )
AP Online TV News
2020 hopeful Warren pitches new private equity constraints
2020 hopeful Elizabeth Warren is proposing new regulations on the private equity industry
9:00AM ( 48 minutes ago )
Mnuchin: Negotiators agree on core elements of budget deal
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin says budget and debt negotiators have reached an agreement on the core elements of a budget deal to increase the government's borrowing cap
8:51AM ( 56 minutes ago )
Union Pacific delivers 4% better 2Q profit on lower expenses
Union Pacific Corp. delivered 4% more profit in the second quarter even though it hauled less freight because it cut its expenses by 7%
8:37AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Business
UnitedHealth ups profit forecast after big 2Q
UnitedHealth posts strong profit in second quarter and raises its outlook for the year
6:32AM ( 3 hours ago )
China launches STAR, tech stock market to boost industry
China launches STAR, tech stock market to boost industry
1:25AM ( 8 hours ago )
Data show many companies contributed to US opioid crisis
Federal data released as part of a major national opioid case in Ohio provides a roadmap to how prescription painkillers were distributed to every county in America
7:26PM ( 14 hours ago )
AP Business - Corporate News
Cyprus detains 12 Israelis for 8 days over alleged rape
A Cyprus court has ordered 12 Israelis vacationing on the east Mediterranean island nation to remain in police custody for eight days after a 19-year-old British woman alleged that she was raped
9:14AM ( 33 minutes ago )
Author Laura Lippman has 5-book deal, not all of them novels
Prize-winning crime novelist Laura Lippman has several new books planned, not all of them fiction
9:13AM ( 34 minutes ago )
The Latest: White House slams contempt vote for officials
White House slams Democratic-controlled House's vote to hold Attorney General William Barr and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in contempt over census citizenship issue
9:12AM ( 35 minutes ago )
South Korean political parties back Moon in Japan trade row
South Korean liberal and conservative parties have vowed to cooperate to help the Seoul government prevail in an escalating trade row with Japan
9:10AM ( 38 minutes ago )
The Latest: Shane Lowry sets early target at British Open
The Latest from the British Open: Lowry sets early target with 67 at Royal Portrush
9:07AM ( 40 minutes ago )