• Kyodo


Police have arrested a man who turned himself in following an arson attack on the Tokai University Hachioji Hospital in Tokyo.

Shigeyuki Soga, 47, is suspected of pouring flammable liquid down hallways on several floors of the hospital and setting it alight. The attack on Saturday morning appeared designed to burn the building down.

Soga is being held for attempted arson on an inhabited structure or building. The hospital, which is located in Hachioji, western Tokyo, said no patients were injured.

Soga had been receiving regular outpatient treatment at the hospital and had met a surgeon from the plastic surgery department earlier that day, police said.

They said Soga had complained to the hospital about the care and service of its staff, and they believe this may have been his motivation for allegedly setting the fire.

Soga is accused of taking about a dozen plastic and glass bottles into the hospital and pouring flammable liquid, possibly gasoline, down several hallways at about 11:50 a.m. on Saturday. He also allegedly lit smoke flares.

The attack took place on the fourth to eighth floors.

“The broad outline (of the allegations) is correct,” Soga allegedly told police, according to officials at the Hachioji Police Station.

The attempted arson was thwarted after sprinklers kicked in and extinguished the fire, leaving only charred walls, floor coverings and ceilings.

Police identified Soga from eyewitness accounts and began a manhunt. They arrested him after he turned himself in at Ichihara Police Station in Chiba Prefecture on Wednesday morning.

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