December 19 2021
OSAKA – Police suspect a 61-year-old male patient of starting a fire at a mental health clinic in Osaka that killed 24 people, investigative sources said Saturday.
The police found the man’s registration card for the clinic during a search of a place related to him, the sources said. Traces of oil were found at a clinic.
The fire that originated at the clinic, which is located on the fourth floor of a building in the city’s Kita Ward, left 24 people dead.
As there is eyewitness information that the man placed a paper bag containing liquid on the floor and kicked it over shortly after arriving at the clinic, which specializes in psychosomatic medicine and psychiatry, police suspect that it was a premeditated attack, according to the sources.
The sources said police have found that a minor fire had occurred at the 61-year-old man’s home within the city just before the fire at the building.
On Saturday, the Osaka prefectural police department conducted an on-site investigation at the building in Kita Ward, looking into the incident as an arson and murder case. The police are working to clarify the cause of the fire and confirm the identities of the victims.
The man, who the sources say is in serious condition, is among 27 people taken to the hospital after the fire Friday raced through the clinic in a multiple tenant building in the western Japan city.