Kyoto Animation Fire Update (September 18, 2019)

The Kyodo news service has reported that the 34 people injured in the July 18, 2019 fire at Kyoto Animation’s Studio 1 building are no longer in life-threatening condition. A source close to the investigation told Kyodo that some injured victims with severe burns remain in the intensive care unit, but all of the victims are progressing toward recovery. The fire claimed the lives of 35 other victims.

Authorities have constructed a model of Kyoto Animation’s Studio 1 building. They are using the model in conjunction with the victims’ testimonies about where they were at the time of the incident, how they escaped, and other things they observed on the day of the fire.

Kyodo has also reported that the 41-year-old man who allegedly used gasoline to start the fire has regained speech in the hospital. Police have obtained a warrant for the man’s arrest, but doctors must decide he can tolerate confinement before police are able to arrest him. The man had been in critical condition after receiving severe burns in the fire he allegedly started, but he regained the ability to make simple gestures by the beginning of August 2019. Sources stated that the man received skin graft surgery and is in stable condition, but he still needs a ventilator and is undergoing rehabilitation. Sources expect that the man will remain in the hospital for several more months.

The news service also reported that donations to Kyoto Animation have surpassed 2.5 billion yen (about US$23 million).

The studio’s official website revealed on September 13, 2019 that Kyoto Animation had received an additional donation of 81,034,121 yen (about US$749,000) from the retail chain Animate on September 6, 2019, for a total of 330,064,605 yen (about US$3.05 million) from the company. The retailer made a deposit of 249,030,484 yen (about US$2.3 million) in donations into Kyoto Animation’s bank account on August 2, 2019. Animate began its donation campaign for Kyoto Animation on July 19, 2019 and ended it on September 1, 2019.

Kyoto Animation received a donation of 226,749,396 yen (about US$2.10 million) from Sentai Filmworks’ GoFundMe campaign on August 26, 2019. Sentai Filmworks stated in an update that the transfer represents nearly all of the funds raised in the campaign, after transactional and processing fees. The company plans to disburse the reserved US$100,000 on deposit with GoFundMe for credit card processing and settlement purposes in or around December 2019. Sentai Filmworks will then transfer the remaining balance to Kyoto Animation.

Kyoto International Manga Museum and Kyoto Seika University transferred a donation of 4,249,003 yen (about US$39,000) on August 8, 2019. Visual Art’s/Key revealed in August 2019 that it donated 10 million yen (about US$94,000) to Kyoto Animation. X Japan member YOSHIKI also announced in August 2019 that he donated 10 million yen to the studio.

Kyodo noted that the recovery of Kyoto Animation as a business will likely take much more time because 20 percent of its employees passed away in the fire. According to Daisuke Okeda, Kyoto Animation’s lawyer, personal damages resulting from the fire amount to more than 4 billion yen (about US$38 million), even after workers’ compensation.

Source: ANN

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