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Japan arson suspect identified after blaze kills 33

Published: Updated:

Japanese police have identified the man suspected to have started a fire at an animation studio that killed 33 people as Shinji Aoba, public broadcaster NHK said on Friday.

Aoba, who has been in custody since Thursday, the day fire engulfed the studio in the city of Kyoto, has not been arrested, NHK said.

Authorities said on Thursday that a man screaming “You die!” burst into an animation production studio in Kyoto, Japan, and set it on fire.

The fire started in the three-story building in Japan’s ancient capital after the suspect sprayed an unidentified liquid accelerant, Kyoto prefectural police and fire department officials said.

Footage on Japan’s NHK television showed gray smoke billowing from the charred building. Other footage showed windows blown off.

“There was an explosion, then I heard people shouting, some asking for help,” a female witness told TBS TV. “Black smoke was rising from windows on upper floors, then there was a man struggling to crawl out of the window.”