At least 33 dead in suspected arson attack at Kyoto Animation studio

Japanese police arrested a 41-year-old suspect at the scene

Kyoto Animation Studio
The aftermath of the blaze at the Kyoto Animation studio

At least 33 people have been killed in a suspected arson attack on the Kyoto Animation studio in the Japanese city of Kyoto.

Police arrested a 41-year-old suspect at the scene, which started after the suspect broke into the three-story building at around 10am this morning (July 18) and sprayed petrol around the premises before igniting it.

33 people have been confirmed dead so far following the blaze, with a further 36 people, some in critical condition, currently being treated in hospital for their injuries. It’s thought that over 70 people were in the building at the time the fire broke out, and rescue operations are still ongoing.

Local media have also reported that police found knives at the studio. The detained suspect, whose relationship with the studio remains unclear at this point, has also been taken to hospital for his injuries.

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said the incident was “too appalling for words”, and offered his condolences to the victims of the fire in a message on Twitter this morning.

Kyoto Animation, also known as KyoAni, is renowned in the anime world for its work publishing graphic novels and the production of such movies and TV series as K-ON!, Evergarden and Air.