Police Investigating Kyoto Animation Studio Fire That Left 33 Dead

Police are investigating the reasons behind an arsonist setting fire to Kyoto Animation’s studio. The tragedy resulted in 33 deaths. Witness testimonies and reports suggest the alleged arsonist had problems with Kyoto Animation. However, police have denied this. They say the 41-year-old alleged arsonist from near Tokyo did not work for the studio.

Kyoto police revealed the name of the man to be Shinji Aoba. Reports from unnamed sources said Aoba spent three and half years in prison for robbing a convenience store in 2012. They also say he has mental problems.

Police would not immediately confirm the reports.

The fire was caused by the perpetrator spreading an unknown substance at the entrance. According to Japanese media, he told the police that he had done it because “Kyoto Animation stole novels”. It was unclear if he had contacted the studio earlier.

Kyoto animation was established in 1981. It is better known as KyoAni. It rose to fame because of a mega-hit anime series about high school girls. Nowadays, it helps hone the skills of those who want to learn animation.

The shocking attack left another 36 people injured, some critically. It drew an outpouring of grief for the dead and injured, most of the workers at the studio.

70 people were inside the 3-story Kyoto Animation No. 1 studio in southern Kyoto when the fire erupted.

The arsonist arrived carrying two containers of flammable liquid. He shouted, “You die!” as he entered the studio’s unlocked front door.

Then he dumped the liquid and set it afire with a lighter, according to officials and media reports. Police at the scene confiscated the gasoline tanks, a knapsack and knives. They have not confirmed if they belonged to the attacker.

The fire covered the front entrance of Kyoto Animation Studio. It quickly spread all over the workspace. Then it rose up the stairs to the third floor, sending panicked employees fleeing. A few lucky ones crawled out of the windows. The ones who tried to get to the roof failed.

Studio employees caught the alleged perpetrator as he was escaping. He collapsed to the ground outside a house and was quickly surrounded by police.

“They are always stealing. It’s their fault,” he told policemen bending over and asking him why he set the fire. The man complained bitterly that something had been stolen from him. This was all narrated by a witness describing the scene outside her house.

This is truly a tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with Kyoto Animation.

Source: ABC News