Up to 27 people feared dead in building blaze in Japanese city of Osaka

11:01, 17 December 2021
Up to 27 people feared dead in building blaze in Japanese city of Osaka Photo: Rodrigo Reyes Marin/AFLO/Global Look Press

At least 27 people are presumed dead after a fire broke out in a psychiatry clinic in a shopping district in the Japanese city of Osaka.

Approximately 27 were feared dead in the incident while another individual was injured, an official at Osaka’s fire department told Reuters.

The local fire department received emergency reports that a fire occurred on the fourth floor of a psychiatry clinic in the Kita district at 10:18 am local time. Firefighters managed to eliminate the blaze within 30 minutes, according to Japan’s broadcaster NHK.

Nine people died at a hospital, broadcaster TV Asahi reported.

The police investigate suspected arson as the reports said a man started a blaze in the building. A suspect is an elderly man, presumably the patient of the clinic, who entered the building carrying a bag with a flammable liquid, according to the Mainichi newspaper.

The footage shows how plumes of black smoke come out of the windows. The fire started just minutes after the clinic opened its doors for business.

“When I looked outside I saw orange flames in the fourth-floor window of the building. A woman was waving her hands for help from the sixth floor window,” a woman who works at a company located on the same street said.

According to the website of the clinic, the facility helps people to outlive depression and panic issues along with other mental problems, and it also treats patients for physical issues such as sleep apnea and anemia.