Smoke spread so fast at animation firm victims couldn't open rooftop door

22 Juillet, 2019, 19:38 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • Policemen are seen at the torched Kyoto Animation building in Kyoto Japan

Officials on Monday groped for an explanation of why a blaze ripped through a famed animation company, amid reports that smoke spread so fast a majority of the victims who tried to flee through a rooftop door could not open it in time to escape.

Nineteen of the dead were found piled on top of each other on a stairway from the third floor to a door leading to the roof, with some early reports suggesting it could not be opened from the inside.

Junzo Yamamoto, head of the National Public Safety Commission, offered flowers at the site before stepping into the building's blackened hulk to inspect it.

Police sources have raised the death toll from last Thursday's devastating attack to 34, one more than previously reported. "Before getting there we need to clarify the whole picture".

The video shows a man resembling Aoba pushing a small cart holding a number of cardboard boxes and walking near the headquarters of Kyoto Animation in Uji, Kyoto Prefecture, at about 2:30 p.m. on July 17.

Fire officials told a city assembly panel that everything at the building had complied with the fire code and they were investigating why so many lives were lost, NHK said.

Earlier, experts said a spiral staircase near where the fire was lit acted as a chimney, carrying the smoke upward through all three storeys.

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The company late on Sunday issued a statement saying that the tragedy had left them at a loss.

One of the survivors, an animator, told Japanese media he jumped from a window of the three-story building gasping for air amid scorching heat after seeing a "a black mushroom cloud" rising from downstairs.

"All of these people were our talented, precious colleagues". "Both for us here, as well as the animation industry as a whole, this is a huge blow".

Lawyer Okeda said he was not in a position to answer questions on the status of the company's projects but the impact on the firm was "enormous".

The suspect is being treated at a hospital for serious burns.

Kyoto prefectural police have also collected security camera videos as well as eyewitness accounts and have determined that Aoba was in the area of the Kyoto Animation studio for a number of days before he allegedly set the fire by spraying gasoline on the first floor of the studio and igniting it.

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