Twenty-seven people were killed in a fire that broke out Friday morning in a building in the western Japanese city of Osaka, firefighting teams said.
Picture of the burning building in Osaka
Scenes broadcast by the public television network NHK and other television channels showed firefighters trying to put out the flames in the eight-storey building located in a commercial district in the city center.
After the fire was put out, the fourth floor of the cramped office building looked charred, with its windows smashed.
Firefighters inside the building
According to local media, the fourth floor houses a clinic that provides mental health services and general medical care.
An official with the Osaka Fire Department told AFP that 28 people were injured in the fire, “including 27 in cardiac-respiratory arrest”, the medical term used in Japan to describe a person who has died but whose death has not yet been confirmed by a doctor.
The official added that the fire broke out at 10:18 (01:18 GMT) on the fourth floor of the building and was extinguished by firefighting teams after half an hour.
The cause of the disaster was not immediately clear.