• Jiji


The Fire and Disaster Management Agency on Sunday asked fire headquarters across the country to carry out emergency safety inspections on some 30,000 buildings that resemble the building in the city of Osaka hit by a deadly arson attack on Friday.

Through the on-site inspections, fire officials will check whether evacuation routes have been secured and perform other safety checks. In case obstacles are found on stairs that have to be used for evacuation during times of emergency, building operators will be asked to remove them immediately.

To be subject to the inspections are buildings that have only one stairway and have tenants where many people gather on the third or higher floors, just like the fire-hit building in the city’s Kita Ward.

Friday’s fire occurred at a clinic on the fourth floor of the Osaka building. The fire broke out near the stairway, which was part of the building’s evacuation route. Smoke and hot air quickly filled the clinic and many failed to escape.

The agency plans to set up a panel of experts to discuss related safety measures.

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