More than 10 feared dead in suspected Japanese studio arson

Thick clouds of smoke are seen billowing up from an animation firm building on fire. (Twitter pic from @mipyong1)

TOKYO: More than 10 people are feared dead in a suspected case of arson at an animation studio in the Japanese city of Kyoto on Thursday, domestic media reported.

About 10 people were found lying on the second floor of the building but they were not transported immediately to medical facilities because they were believed to be already dead, Kyodo news agency quoted Kyoto police as saying.

Kyodo said earlier more than 30 people were injured in the fire, with 10 of them in a serious condition.

Kyoto police declined to comment.

Public broadcaster NHK said police had taken into custody a 41-year-old man who had poured what appeared to be gasoline around the studio.

The man was injured and being treated at a hospital, preventing police from conducting a proper interview yet, NHK said. He was saying “die” as he lit the fire, it said.

The studio produces the “Sound! Euphonium” series and its “Free! Road to the World – The Dream” movie is due for release this month