January 24, 2022

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Japan Fireplace Could Have Killed Dozens, With Arson Suspected

Japan Fire May Have Killed Dozens, With Arson Suspected

TOKYO — Twenty-seven folks had been feared lifeless in a hearth on Friday that burned by means of the fourth flooring of a busy workplace constructing in downtown Osaka, the biggest metropolis in western Japan. The police had been investigating the potential for arson.

The fireplace was first reported round 10:20 a.m. and was put out a bit of greater than 20 minutes later. Rescue staff had been seen carrying folks out of the constructing on stretchers, the nationwide broadcaster, NHK, reported.

The blaze burned an roughly 200-square-foot space of the eight-story constructing, positioned subsequent to a prepare station within the port metropolis. The fourth flooring, the place the hearth is believed to have begun, was house to a medical clinic specializing in inner drugs and psychiatry.

With the early reviews of attainable arson, the hearth instantly dropped at thoughts the 2019 blaze at an anime studio in Kyoto, one other metropolis in western Japan, through which an arsonist killed 33 folks and injured dozens.

Earlier than that, the final main hearth in a downtown constructing in a Japanese metropolis occurred 20 years in the past, within the Shinjuku neighborhood of Tokyo. Forty-four folks had been killed as they tried to flee down a blocked staircase.

Chatting with NHK, Ai Sekizawa, an skilled on fires at Tokyo College of Science, referred to as Friday’s blaze “stunning.”

“We don’t know the main points but, however small multi-tenant buildings generally have just one emergency staircase,” he stated, including {that a} hearth close to the exit might have led to demise by suffocation or smoke inhalation as folks tried to flee.

Hikari Hida contributed reporting.

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