December 21 2021
Content is altered to withhold the suspect’s name
OSAKA – The 61-year-old suspect of Friday’s deadly arson attack at a mental health clinic in the western Japan city of Osaka bought gasoline at a service station in late November, investigative sources said Monday.
An apparent plastic bottle containing a liquid that appeared to be gasoline has been discovered where the suspect is believed to have lived, according to the sources.
The Osaka prefectural police department is looking at the possibility that the suspect repackaged gasoline into small portions for the arson attack, which killed 25 people. The police have identified 21 of the victims. The death toll from the Osaka clinic fire on Friday increased to 25 after a woman apparently in her 20s was confirmed dead early Tuesday morning, the police said. A total of 27 people were taken to hospital after the fire.
The suspect set the clinic alight only a minute or two after he arrived at the facility, the sources said.
Security camera footage at the clinic, located on the fourth floor of an eight-story building in Kita Ward of the Osaka Prefecture capital, showed the suspect possibly trying to walk further into the clinic, rather than escaping, after starting the fire near its reception, according to the prefecture’s police department.
The suspect in a fatal fire at a mental health clinic in Osaka last week may have intended to copy a deadly 2019 arson attack on an animation studio in Kyoto, which also involved the purchase of gasoline ahead of time, investigative sources said Tuesday.