Thirty-three people were killed in an attack on an animation studio by a man who burst in screaming, “You die!,” doused the studio with a flammable liquid and set it on fire. The AP reports that the attack Thursday took place in Kyoto, Japan.
“Thirty-six others were injured, some of them critically, in a blaze that sent people scrambling up the stairs toward the roof in a desperate — and futile — attempt to escape what proved to be Japan’s deadliest fire in nearly two decades,” the AP reports. “Others emerged bleeding, blackened and barefoot.”
The report adds: “The suspect, identified only [as] a 41-year-old man who did not work for the studio, was injured and taken to a hospital. Police gave no details on the motive, but a witness told Japanese TV that the attacker angrily complained that something of his had been stolen, possibly by the company.”
Most of the victims worked for Kyoto Animation, which produces anime movies and TV shows. The AP notes that the company “is best known for its mega-hit stories featuring high school girls. The tales are so popular that fans make pilgrimages to some of the places depicted.”
The company, which does not have a major presence outside of Japan, has been behind a series of hits including “Lucky Star” in 2008, “Haruhi Suzimiya” in 2009 and “K-On!” in 2011.