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Firefighters battle a blaze at Kyoto Animation in Japan. Photo: Kyodo News via AP

20 people were confirmed dead and more than 10 others presumed dead in a suspected arson attack at Kyoto Animation in Japan Thursday, a Japanese fire official told AP. Another 36 others were injured — some critically.

Why it matters: The death toll makes it the deadliest fire in the country since 2001, when a blaze killed 44 in the Kabukicho entertainment district in Tokyo.

Details: The blaze began after a man sprayed a flammable liquid onto the building, police told Kyodo News. Witnesses said he screamed, "You die," according to local news outlets, which reported police saying knives were found at the scene. Police told NHK News they detained a 41-year-old man, who was being treated for injuries.

What they're saying: A fire department spokesman told AFP, "Callers reported having heard a loud explosion from the first floor of Kyoto Animation and seeing smoke."

The big picture: The studio has produced the "Sound! Euphonium" series and the "Free! Road to the World — The Dream" movie, which is due for release this month, according to Reuters.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.

This is a developing news story. Please check back for updates.

Go deeper

Restaurant software meets the pandemic moment

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Food delivery companies have predictably done well during the pandemic. But restaurant software providers are also having a moment as eateries race to handle the avalanche of online orders resulting from severe in-person dining restrictions.

Driving the news: Olo filed last week for an IPO and Toast is rumored to be preparing to do the same very soon.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
1 hour ago - Technology

How the automation economy can turn human workers into robots

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

More than outright destroying jobs, automation is changing employment in ways that will weigh on workers.

The big picture: Right now, we should be less worried about robots taking human jobs than people in low-skilled positions being forced to work like robots.

House passes $1.9 trillion COVID relief package

Photo: Screenshot via C-SPAN

The House approved President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID relief package on a 219-212 vote early Saturday morning, sending it to the Senate for a possible rewrite before it gets to Biden's desk.

The big picture: The vote was a critical first step for the package, which includes $1,400 cash payments for many Americans, a national vaccination program, ramped-up COVID testing and contact tracing, state and local funding and money to help schools reopen.

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