At least 19 dead in a fire at a psychiatric clinic in Japan: police investigate if it was caused

A police officer stands near the building where the fire broke out in Osaka, Japan, on December 17, 2021. REUTERS / Kim Kyung-Hoon

At least 19 people died this Friday in a fire in a building in Osaka, in western Japan, in an incident that police believe was caused and that it originated in a psychiatric clinic in the building.

The alarm was raised at around 10:20 local time this Friday (1:20 GMT), when firefighters received a call reporting a fire on the fourth floor of a central city building located near the train station JR Kitashinchi.

More than 70 fire engines traveled to the scene and the flames were extinguished in half an hourAccording to details from the fire department, after calcining about 20 square meters of the clinic in the eight-story building, where in addition to psychiatric treatments, internal medicine services were offered.

Firefighters work outside the building where the fire broke out in Osaka, Japan December 17, 2021. REUTERS / Kim Kyung-Hoon
Firefighters work outside the building where the fire broke out in Osaka, Japan December 17, 2021. REUTERS / Kim Kyung-Hoon

The fire has caused at least 19 confirmed deaths. Rescue teams found 27 people with cardiorespiratory arrest in the plant where the fire originated, but three managed to be revived, according to figures collected by the public chain NHK.

At the moment the evolution of the rest has not been confirmed.

In addition to these people, another woman who was on the sixth floor of the building at the time of the event was injured, according to data published so far by the authorities, who believe that the fire was caused.

Pedestrians look at the building where the fire broke out in Osaka, Japan, December 17, 2021. REUTERS / Kim Kyung-Hoon
Pedestrians look at the building where the fire broke out in Osaka, Japan, December 17, 2021. REUTERS / Kim Kyung-Hoon

According to details of his inquiries leaked to the local press, several witnesses have reported that they saw a man in his 60s holding a paper bag from which a liquid was dripping and they have pointed out that the flames began in the same area where the liquid was spilled on the ground, as reported by NHK.

Police are investigating whether the man described by witnesses is among the victims or the injured.

The building where the fire broke out in Osaka, Japan December 17, 2021. REUTERS / Kim Kyung-Hoon
The building where the fire broke out in Osaka, Japan December 17, 2021. REUTERS / Kim Kyung-Hoon

The fire this Friday is the latest in a series of violent incidents in Japan this year, a country that has one of the lowest homicide rates per capita in the world.

Last November 8 a 69-year-old man started a fire in a car of a high-speed train (shinkansen) which was underway in the south of the country, an event that resulted in no injuries.

Days before, on October 31, Halloween night and when general elections were being held in Japan, a 24-year-old man characterized as the character of the Joker or Joker spread panic after perpetrating a knife attack and setting fire inside a train in Tokyo, in which 17 people were injured.

Today’s event was also reminiscent of other similar incidents, the most recent being the Arson fire in Kyoto Animation studio in Kyoto in July 2019, killing 36 people because the access to the roof, to which many went fleeing the flames, was closed or barred.

Also, in 2008 an intentional fire in a video store left 16 dead also in Osaka.

The negligence of fire-fighting and emergency measures was responsible for the death of 44 people in a fire in a commercial building in the Kabukicho neighborhood of Tokyo in 2001, as a result of a gas explosion that highlighted the lack of adequate maintenance. emergency exits for these situations.

(With information from EFE)

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Reference-www.infobae.com

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