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At Least 25 Dead in Arson Attack on Japanese Animation Studio

A suspected arson attack Thursday morning at Kyoto Animation Co., a Japanese animation studio, has left several people dead.

According to CNN, the fire has left at least 25 people dead. However, Anime News Network confirms at least 33 people have died. The local fire department suspects the death toll to rise, with 36 people listed as injured and some in critical condition. A person reported hearing an explosion from Kyoto Animation's 1st Studio building, with the fire starting around 10:30 AM local time.

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A 41-year-old man is suspected of setting the fire, with police finding the suspect with a backpack filled with knives. The individual was caught pouring what is believed to be gasoline around the studio and setting it on fire. He is now in the hospital with serious burn injuries as police wait to question him.

Kyoto Animation is known for such anime series and original video animations as Full Metal Panic! and Lucky Star.

Hideaki Hatta, President of Kyoto Animation, stated the company "often received notices such as death threats, starting a few years ago." The hashtags #PrayForKyoAni and #PrayForKyotoAnimation have begun trending on social media.

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