Massive fire at Kyoto animation studio kills at least 33, Japanese authorities say

Dozens of others were injured in the arson attack, authorities told the AP.

July 18, 2019, 12:17 PM

More than two dozen people have died in a massive fire at an animation production studio in Kyoto, Japan, which investigators are treating as arson.

An official with the Kyoto fire department told ABC News that at least 33 people were confirmed dead. Dozens of others were reported injured.

PHOTO: This aerial view shows the rescue and recover scene after a fire at an animation company building killed some two dozen people in Kyoto on July 18, 2019.
This aerial view shows the rescue and recover scene after a fire at an animation company building killed some two dozen people in Kyoto on July 18, 2019.
Jiji Press/AFP/Getty Images

The blaze broke out Thursday morning at Kyoto Animation after a man allegedly burst in and spread an unknown liquid that set the three-story building ablaze, the city's prefectural police said, according to The Associated Press.

The suspect is apparently among those being hospitalized with injuries, the AP reported.

PHOTO: Kyodo Animation Studio attacked by arsonist
Kyodo Animation Studio attacked by arsonist
Francois Duckett/AP

In a post on Twitter, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called the fire "too appalling for words."

The blaze, if an arson attack, could be the deadliest mass killing in Japan in three years. The last mass murder was in 2016 when 19 people were stabbed to death at an assisted living center near Tokyo.

ABC News' Morgan Winsor contributed to this report.

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