33 people died today in a fire at Kyoto Animation (affectionately known as Kyoani), the production house responsible for many big hits such as A Silent Voice, K-On, and The Melancholy of Suzumiya Haruhi. The company’s Violet Evergarden is also available on Netflix.
12 of the deceased are male, 20 female, and 1 unidentified. A further 35 were transported to the hospital half of whom were seriously injured while most of the other half were given outpatient treatment.
A 41-year-old man from Saitama arrested under suspicion of the arson was also in serious condition from the fire. According to the fire department, 2 bodies were found on the 1st floor, 11 bodies in the 2nd floor, while some 20 were found stacked along the way from the 3rd floor to the rooftop. Most of the bodies on the 2nd floor were found concentrated in the central area where the escape staircase is located. No sprinklers were installed in the building as it was not a requirement for the building.
The suspect was said to have run into the animation studio, screamed something to the extent of “Go to hell,” poured gasoline all over the place and lit the place on fire. The man later tried to escape but was caught by the police and taken to the hospital. It was reported that as the man was being arrested by the police, he was saying something about the animation house plagiarising other people’s works. Several blades were also found at the scene.
When interviewed, Kyoani CEO Hatta Hideaki shared that it wasn’t uncommon that the company received protests and death threats, regarding which, the production house has made police reports before.
It’s been 13 hours since the fire broke and it still hasn’t been completely put out. That’s as much update as there is at publishing.