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Suspect in Deadly Arson Fire in Osaka, Japan, Dies in Hospital

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TOKYO — A 61-year-old man whom the police suspected of setting the fireplace that killed 25 individuals this month at a psychiatric clinic in Osaka has died in a hospital, the place he had been receiving therapy for smoke inhalation.

Surveillance footage put the suspect, Morio Tanimoto, on the clinic simply earlier than the fireplace began on Dec. 17, in line with the police. Cameras captured him earlier leaving his dwelling on a bicycle, carrying two massive baggage that the police imagine contained gasoline.

Footage that morning from the clinic, on the fourth flooring of a busy downtown workplace constructing, reveals a person believed to be Mr. Tanimoto setting two baggage on the ground of the ready space, an immediate earlier than the fireplace begins.

Mr. Tanimoto was amongst 28 individuals hospitalized after the blaze. He died on Thursday of carbon monoxide poisoning, in line with NHK, Japan’s nationwide broadcaster.

Mr. Tanimoto had not been charged with a criminal offense. Despite his demise, the police intend to proceed their investigation and to refer the case to prosecutors, the broadcaster stated.

The police haven’t stated what they imagine the motive could have been. Investigators discovered newspaper clippings about earlier circumstances of arson in Japan at Mr. Tanimoto’s condominium, NHK reported, and the police have indicated {that a} doc additionally discovered there prompt that he had a connection to the clinic.

The clinic’s constructing had just one emergency staircase, and the victims, unable to flee, have been uncovered to massive portions of smoke and carbon monoxide. After the fireplace, officers in Osaka carried out an pressing marketing campaign to examine buildings with only one set of stairs to make sure that exits weren’t blocked.

The fireplace shocked Japan, a rustic the place violent crime is uncommon. Just six weeks earlier, police stated {that a} man dressed because the Joker had wounded 17 individuals with a knife on a Tokyo practice and tried to set it afire. In November, a person was arrested after a hearth was set on a bullet practice in southern Japan.

The fireplace in Osaka, Japan’s third-largest metropolis, was the deadliest in Japan since 2019, when an arson fireplace at a Kyoto animation studio killed 33 individuals. That blaze additionally raised considerations concerning the security of some older buildings.

Mr. Tanimoto was the twenty sixth individual to die from accidents sustained in the Osaka fireplace. The clinic’s director was amongst those that perished. One survivor continues to be hospitalized in critical situation, NHK stated.