27 dead in fire in Osaka - Arson suspected
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27 residents lost their lives after a building was set on fire in Osaka, Japan.
The alarm came in just after 10 o'clock on Friday morning December 16th local time. Initially the the fire was restricted to the fourth floor of a business complex.
Of the 28 people who were directly affected by the fire, 27 showed no signs of life, according to a spokesperson for the rescue service. 23 of the victims have been taken to hospital.
The fire could be extinguished after half an hour, after a large rescue operation had been launched. Video images on local TV show how the rescue service works both inside and outside the eight-storey building after the fire had been extinguished.
How the fire started is still unclear. The police suspect foul play and are therefore investigating whether it could have been deliberately started by an arson, according to the local news station NHK.
The victims suffered cardiopulmonary arrest, a term often used in preliminary reports before a death is officially confirmed, reports say.
Footage showed blackened windows after dozens of firefighters extinguished the blaze on the fourth floor.
All of those feared to be dead were reportedly in a psychiatric clinic on the fourth floor of the building, located in a busy commercial and entertainment district.
A man who appeared to be in his 50s or 60s was seen carrying a bag of liquid into the building, before knocking it over near a heater, spilling the liquid and starting the fire, Kyodo News reported.
The man was rushed to hospital and is in a critical condition, NHK reported.
Cover Photo; Nakanoshima Skyscrapers in 201407 001.jpg Wikipedia Commons License. Created on 16 July 2014, 10:06:16. Wikipedia Commons License