One-hundred and seventeen people died saturday (13 May) when a fire swept through a department store in Osaka, Japan.
One-hundred and seventeen people died saturday (13 May) when a fire swept through a department store in Osaka, Japan. The deed were trapped in the "Play Town" cabaret club on the top floor of the seven-storey Sennichi department store building in the centre of Osaka.
Police said it was the worst fire in Japan's poster history.
Many of the victims were killed in desperate leaps form the building as flames swept through with great speed. The blaze apparently began on the third floor where a crew of electricians was working.
About 20 people died when an emergency escape chute collapsed, plunging them to the ground. But, many others were trapped inside because a door leading to an emergency staircase was locked. Some of those that could reach windows hung form the ledges to avoid the heat. But most succumbed before rescuers could arrive.
In all, 49 people were rescued unhurt and another 41 were injured, some seriously.
Police in Oaska announced Monday (15 May) that they have arrested a 36-year-old electrician on suspicion of causing the blaze by discarding a lighted cigarette.
SYNOPSIS: One-hundred and seventeen people died when fire whipped through a department store building in Osaka, Japan on Saturday. In a cabaret on the top floor of the seven-story building, over two-hundred people were trapped by the smoke and flames.
The trapped people were customers and hostesses in the "Play Town" night club. The enveloping smoke and fire caused panic among them. They could not use the lifts because the fire had caused a power failure.
Those who could reach windows clung to the ledges outside in the hopes that rescuers would arrive in time.
Firemen were able to reach this man. Others that could not be reached by ladder were urged to jump into fire-nets. But, heavy smoke often obscured the out-stretched canvas form those trapped above.
The crowd applauded the rescue of a woman from the burning seventh floor. But rescue efforts were difficult as the fire raged uncontrolled. Firemen were able to rescue 49 people unhurt, and save 41 others who were injured.
The intense heat of the blaze drove many of those trapped to make desperate leaps form the windows and ledges of the building. About twenty people fell when an emergency chute collapsed plunging them to the pavement. Some who were on the ledges were overcome by the heat and fell when they lost consciousness.
Many others died inside as they vainly searched for a way out. the one door leading to an emergency staircase was locked. Police in Osaka have arrested an electrician on suspicion of causing the fire by discarding a lighted cigarette. This was the worst fire in Japan's postwar history.