Police are investigating a possible arson attack in Osaka, Japan after a fire erupted in a commercial building, with 27 people feared dead. The building is located near the Kitashinchi train station of western Japan; officials say the fire took almost half an hour to put out.
It is unclear yet which floors were affected due to the fire, but the psychiatry clinic on the fourth floor was seen to be most affected as almost the entire charred floor was visible from the damaged windows. The medical clinic provided mental health as well as general medical care services.
Although there are no confirmed statements regarding what caused the fire, it is being suspected as an arson attack in Osaka as police report a man was spotted spilling a liquid that caused the fire. 27 out of the total 28 people injured due to the fire showed no signs of life according to the rescue team on scene. Footage from the scene shows dozens and more firefighters trying to put out the fire from both inside and outside.
“The fire was detected at 10:18 am (01:18 GMT) on the fourth floor. As of noon, 70 fire engines are at the scene,” said the fire department to the press. There were rarely any witnesses present that could testify to what might have caused the fire so that the arson attack in Osaka could be proven just yet.
There was a woman however while the fire was on who gave a statement, “She leaned out (from a window) and was saying things like ‘Please help’… She seemed very weak. Maybe she inhaled lots of smoke,” with another one adding, “There was lots of dark smoke… there was a very strong smell, too.”
Since investigations are still underway, police are yet to confirm the arson attack in Osaka. It could still possibly be a misunderstanding or an unintentional act as there’s no proof of intent yet. Violent crimes are rare in Japan as buildings have strict rules and standards to ensure the safety of everyone inside.