Thirty-three people were left dead Thursday when an arsonist set fire to a Japanese animation studio.
Early reports indicate that the blaze began when an unnamed suspect entered the studio and began spreading a flammable liquid around the building’s entrance while screaming “you die!”
According to The Associated Press, the suspected arsonist was a 41-year-old male unaffiliated with the company.
A motive has not yet been determined.
Housed in a three-story building in the Japanese capital, Kyoto Animation, known fondly by locals as KyoAni, is known for original stories like “Lucky Star,” “K-On!” and work on the 1998 “Pokemon” feature film.
Authorities report that the fire’s location near the facility’s main exit was a key factor in the number of casualties, according to the Washington Examiner. Thirty-six people were also injured in the attack, and 10 are in critical condition.
At the time of the attack, there were 70 employees in the building and just one person was left unscathed.
The suspect was also taken to the hospital with injuries.
“My heart is in extreme pain. Why on earth did such violence have to be used?” Kyoto Animation president and CEO Hideaki Hatta told reporters.
Hatta also said that the company had, in the past, received death threats, but they were handled “sincerely.”
He suggested that he believes the attack was unrelated to those threats, WBGN reported.
The Kyoto Animation fire was the deadliest in the nation since the 2001 Kabukicho entertainment district fire in Tokyo, which killed 44.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe expressed condolences on Twitter shortly after the incident.
— 安倍晋三 (@AbeShinzo) July 18, 2019
Translations from WBGN indicate that Abe told the public in a series of tweets he was at a loss for words after witnessing the damage done by the incident.
“I would like to express my sympathies to the injured people and pray for a quick recovery,” he said.
There was also an outpouring of support and condolences from fans of the studio on social media shortly after initial reports of the event surfaced.
the Kyoto Animation arson is horrific and i’m completely heartbroken for those lost in the attackhttps://t.co/YsStutoDuH
— Matt Cummings (@EiffelArt) July 18, 2019
It’s so heartbreaking to hear this news. Tragic happened for these talented people. May their soul rest in peace. And also for the fast recovery of injured people in this tragic incident.
They’re masterpiece will always be remember in our heats.#PrayForKyoani #KyotoAnimation pic.twitter.com/R07QjIf9J9
— Shujinko #GetWellSoonMina (@Kuroyuukirito) July 18, 2019
“It’s so heartbreaking to hear this news. Tragic happened for these talented people. May their soul rest in peace,” one fan wrote.
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