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Police investigate possible arson in deadly Osaka fire

First responders at the scene of a fire in Osaka, Japan, on Friday Associated Press/Photo by Yukie Nishizawa/Kyodo News

Police investigate possible arson in deadly Osaka fire

A blaze that started on a fourth-floor medical clinic in Japan’s largest city left 24 people dead on Friday. Police are searching for a possible arson suspect. Fire officials arriving at the eight-story building in a busy area of Osaka on Friday found 27 people in a state of cardiac arrest, according to a local fire official. Three are in critical condition after being resuscitated. A mental and internal medicine clinic, as well as an English language school and other businesses, occupied the building.

What happened? Police have declined to offer explanations until the bodies are autopsied. A doctor at a hospital treating victims suggested carbon monoxide caused the deaths, and officials are investigating whether smoke filled the rooms before anyone could escape. A man in his 50s or 60s carrying a bag leaking liquid is suspected of arson, but it’s unclear whether he escaped or was among the dead and injured.

Rachel Lynn Aldrich Rachel is an assistant editor for WORLD Digital. She is a Patrick Henry College and World Journalism Institute graduate. Rachel resides with her husband in Wheaton, Ill.


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