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Suspect in Lethal Arson Fireplace in Osaka, Japan, Dies in Hospital

TOKYO — A 61-year-old man whom the police suspected of setting the fire that killed 25 people 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 hearth began on Dec. 17, based on the police. Cameras captured him earlier leaving his house on a bicycle, carrying two giant luggage that the police consider contained gasoline.

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

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

Mr. Tanimoto had not been charged with a criminal offense. Regardless of his dying, the police intend to proceed their investigation and to refer the case to prosecutors, the broadcaster mentioned.

The police haven’t mentioned what they consider the motive might have been. Investigators discovered newspaper clippings about earlier instances of arson in Japan at Mr. Tanimoto’s house, NHK reported, and the police have indicated {that a} doc additionally discovered there steered that he had a connection to the clinic.

The clinic’s constructing had just one emergency staircase, and the victims, unable to flee, had been uncovered to giant portions of smoke and carbon monoxide. After the hearth, 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. Simply six weeks earlier, police mentioned {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 fireplace 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 fire at a Kyoto animation studio killed 33 people. That blaze additionally raised issues concerning the security of some older buildings.

Mr. Tanimoto was the twenty sixth particular person to die from accidents sustained within the Osaka hearth. The clinic’s director was amongst those that perished. One survivor remains to be hospitalized in severe situation, NHK mentioned.

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