Kyoto Animation, as firefighters work to put out the blaze caused by arson on 7/18/2019.

Image Credit: NHK News

At roughly 10:30AM JST on July 18 (7/17/2019 at 9:30PM EDT), fire broke out at Kyoto Animation’s No.1 studio in Kyoto, Japan.

According to the Kyoto Fire Department, thirty-three were confirmed to have died in the blaze: twenty women, twelve men, and one individual whose gender could not be determined. Thirty-six are hospitalized due to injuries.

NHK interviewed eyewitnesses, who reported that they reported the blaze to authorities at roughly 10:30AM local time. They report hearing a sudden explosion, after which they saw smoke pouring from the building. More than thirty fire engines and other emergency response vehicles were dispatched to fight the fire.

Police determined the cause of the fire to be arson, and have arrested a suspect in the action. According to NHK, the police apprehended a male who was seen spraying an accelerant “like gasoline” both in and around the studio. The man’s license indicates that he is in his 40s.

According to NHK, the suspect was saying “Go die” as he ignited the fuel.

Kyoto Animation was established in 1981 by former Mushi Pro staff members. Since its foundation, the studio has worked on numerous prominent anime titles, including The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Clannad, K-On!, Free!, Miss Kobayashi’s Dragon Maid, and Sound! Euphonium.


Update 7/18/2019, 1:18AM EDT: Added details on missing persons and additional information on the suspect.

Update 7/18/2019, 8:43AM EDT: Updated with final injury and death toll, per NHK and the Kyoto Shimbun.