EDIT: It has since been confirmed that the attack killed 33 people with many more injured. Kyoto Animation Director Hideaki Hatta told local media that the company had recently received threatening emails.
“They were addressed to our office and sales department and told us to die,” he said.
Original story below:
A suspected arson attack at Kyoto Animation in Japan has left at least 23 people dead and dozens injured.
The animation studio, which is located in Kyoto, is responsible for anime series including Violet Evergarden and Full Metal Panic!
The extent of the damage is not yet clear, but the anime community has rallied round to help those affected by the disaster.
A GoFundMe page has already been set up by Sentai Filmworks, who writes: “On July 18, 2019, an arsonist set the Kyoto Animation studio on fire injuring several people and leading to the loss of lives. Details on this unbelievable act are still developing.
“Sentai Filmworks hopes to help the KyoAni team during this time of need and asks that you join us in this endeavor.”
Help us help our friends at Kyoto Animation by donating (if you can) or sharing: https://t.co/Fg599lm5Dy— Sentai ? Filmworks (@SentaiFilmworks) July 18, 2019
At the time of writing over $140,000 has been donated to the cause.
“KyoAni is the reason why I’m still here today and I want to be part of the reason why you guys will still be here after your recovery,” writes one supporter of the charity.
Local media reportedly quoted police as saying an unnamed man broke into the studio. The 41-year-old is believed to have sprayed petrol before igniting it, and is now in police custody [via BBC].
At the time of writing it’s believed that there are still people from the building that are unaccounted for.
Saddened fans of the studio have flocked to social media to express their condolences to those affected.
i’m horrified to hear about Kyoto Animation, that someone could do something so horrible to people who have brought so much joy is absolutely sickening— SungWon Cho (@ProZD) July 18, 2019
It’s believed that Kyoto Animation’s current projects will be on hold for the foreseeable future.
Our hearts go out to all those affected. Check out the GoFundMe page right here.
Featured Image Credit: BBC News