Japan: 27 feared dead in Osaka building fire

Published : December 17, 2021 16:06 IST

The fire broke out on the fourth floor of a building. Photo: Kyodo News/AP Photo/picture alliance

Police are investigating arson as a possible cause of the fire in a building in the western Japanese city.

At least 27 people are feared dead in a fire that broke out in a building in a shopping district in the western Japanese city of Osaka, fire department officials said on December 17. Osaka city fire department official Akira Kishimoto said the fire broke out on the fourth floor of the building located in a busy business area near the Kitashinchi train station. Police said they were investigating the cause of the fire for suspected arson.

The blaze affected 28 people, 27 of whom were found in a state of cardiac arrest, Kishimoto said. At least 23 people have been taken to nearby hospitals, he added. Local media footage showed dozens of firefighters outside the building, with the charred interior of the fourth floor being quite visible through broken windows. The multistoried building houses several kinds of businesses, from a psychiatric clinic on the fourth floor to a beauty salon, a clothes store and an English-language school on the rest of the floors.

The blaze, which broke out around 10 a.m. local time, had been extinguished within half an hour, officials told the AFP news agency. Osaka is Japan's second-biggest metropolis after the greater Tokyo region. With its strict building standards, deadly fires are unusual in Japan.

rm/fb (AFP, AP, dpa)

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