- According to fire department officials, more than 20 people were feared dead after a fire broke out Friday in a building in Osaka, western Japan.
- According to Kishimoto, twenty-seven people were found in cardiac arrest, and one woman was injured.
According to fire department officials, more than 20 people were feared dead after a fire broke out Friday in a building in Osaka, western Japan, and police were investigating arson as a possible cause.
According to Osaka city fire department official Akira Kishimoto, the fire started on the fourth floor of an eight-story building in Kitashinchi’s shopping and entertainment district.
According to Kishimoto, twenty-seven people were found in cardiac arrest, and one woman was injured. The woman was conscious and treated in a hospital after being lowered by an aerial ladder from a window.
All of the victims were taken to hospitals in the area. According to NHK national television and other media, five people have been pronounced dead, and three others have been renewed, but Japanese authorities have refused to confirm those reports.
Governor Hirofumi Yoshimura of Osaka expressed his condolences to the fire victims.
“I’m praying for as many lives to be saved as possible,” he said.
An internal medicine clinic, an English language school, and other businesses are housed. According to fire department officials, many of the victims were visitors to the clinic on the fourth floor.
According to Yoshimura, he instructed other hospitals and mental health clinics to provide consultations for the 600 people receiving treatment at the damaged clinic.
The cause of the fire, as well as other details, were unknown at the time. Police in Osaka said they were looking into whether the fire was started intentionally or by accident.
According to media reports, police were looking for a man who was seen carrying a paper bag with an unknown liquid dripping from it, but police declined to confirm those reports.
According to Kishimoto, people on other floors of the building were believed to have been safely evacuated.
Hundreds of fire engines and police vehicles were seen on the street near the building in NHK footage, with onlookers watching the situation from across the street.
A witness told NHK that she heard a woman’s voice calling for help from the fourth floor. Another witness told TV Asahi that when he stepped outside after hearing a commotion, he saw flames and smoke coming out of windows on the fourth floor of the building.
A witness told TBS television that several people taken out of the building were covered in blue tarps and appeared lifeless. He claimed to have seen one alive woman being rescued through a window.
Officials said that 70 fire engines were dispatched to fight the fire, mostly extinguished within 30 minutes of the emergency call.
In a 2019 arson attack at the Kyoto Animation studio, an attacker stormed in and set fire to the building, killing 36 people and injuring over 30 others.
The incident shocked Japan, and anime fans worldwide expressed their sorrow. A deliberately set fire in Tokyo’s Kabukicho entertainment district killed 44 people in 2001, making it the country’s worst known case of arson in modern times.
Source: CBC News
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