Dozens feared dead in building fire in western Japan

Up to 27 people are feared to have died injured in a building fire in western Japan.

Public broadcaster NHK said the fire broke out on the fourth floor of an eight-story building in a shopping and entertainment area in the city of Osaka.

An official at the city’s fire department said 27 people were in cardiopulmonary arrest – a term used in Japan before a
death is officially confirmed – and one person was injured.

Police are investigating the blaze as possible arson, according to the Kyodo News agency.

Video on NHK showed smoke pouring out of the building’s fourth floor windows, where a psychiatry clinic is located, and at the roof of the building.

The fire was reported shortly after the clinic opened for business at 10am local time and was mostly extinguished
within 30 minutes, NHK reported.

Other floors of the building, which is near the Osaka’s main station in the centre of the city, were occupied by a beauty
salon, a clothes shop and an English-language school, NHK said.

One man told the broadcaster he saw a woman calling for help from one of the windows.

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