Osaka Sennichi Department Store Building 50 Years After Fire Fire Prevention Measures Still Challenges | NHK Kansai News

It has been 50 years since the fire at the Sennichi department store building in Osaka, which killed 118 people, in 13 days.
People who knew the time visited the place where the building was located and prayed to those who died.

Fifty years ago, on May 13, 1972, a fire broke out from the 3rd floor of the Sennichi department store building in Minami, Osaka, killing 118 people including customers and employees at the restaurant on the 7th floor. bottom.
Another building is currently built in the place where the fire broke out, but there is a Jizo on the premises to memorialize the victims, and the building management company still wipes the area around the Jizo every morning. I am exchanging flowers.
On the morning of the 13th, an 85-year-old man who was working on electrical equipment management in the building at that time visited and prayed with his hands together toward Jizo.
The man said, “I feel like tears when I remember that time. The buildings around me have changed, and the fire has now been forgotten.”
In this fire, it is said that the damage was expanded because the sprinkler was not installed at the place of the fire, the fire information was not immediately transmitted to the upper floor, and the evacuation route was limited and difficult to understand. ..
A number of fire prevention measures have been taken in the wake of the fire, but in principle, the building standard law, which requires the installation of two or more stairs in a building on the sixth floor or higher, is a matter of tightening regulations on an old building that was built before. There are still “existing ineligible” issues that do not apply to.

[What is a thousand-day department store fire].
The fire broke out on the night of May 13, 1972, at the multi-tenant building “Sennichi Department Store Building” in Minami, Osaka.
118 people, including customers and employees of the restaurant on the 7th floor, were killed, and a building fire in Japan caused the worst damage after the war.
The building has 7 floors above ground, and a fire broke out from the supermarket on the 3rd floor, which was under electrical work, and smoke ran down the air-conditioning duct and the hoistway of the elevator, filling the restaurant on the 7th floor.
Not only did people suffocate with smoke, but many died by jumping from the building to escape the heat and smoke.
In this fire, it became clear that there were deficiencies in disaster prevention equipment, such as the fact that sprinklers were not installed at the location of the fire and that some fire shutters were not closed.
In addition, it is said that the damage was expanded because ▼ the information on the fire was not immediately transmitted to the upper floors and ▼ the evacuation route was limited and difficult to understand.
The following year, a fire broke out at the “Ocean Department Store” in Kumamoto City, killing 104 people, and the government revised the law and reviewed the fire prevention measures for the building.
Of these, sprinklers have been tightened by the Fire Service Act, which requires them to be installed, and will be applied retroactively to old buildings.
On the other hand, in principle, the strengthening of the Building Standards Law, which requires the installation of two or more stairs in buildings with six or more floors, does not apply to old buildings, and “existing ineligible” buildings are still in various places. I have.
Even in the case where the building containing the clinic was set on fire in Kita-ku, Osaka last December, the site was an “existing ineligible” building built before the regulations were tightened, and there was only one staircase, and the damage spread. It has been pointed out that it may have been a factor in this.

[The former rescue team member who rescued].
A former rescue worker who was involved in rescue operations due to the fire at the Sennichi department store building talked about the situation at that time.
Masahiko Ueo (80), a former rescue team member of the Osaka City Fire Department, was involved in rescue operations at the site at that time.
The first thing I saw at the scene I rushed to was people who jumped one after another from the 7th floor trying to escape from smoke and fire.
So, in order to help those who jumped down, I asked people who passed by to help me and tried to spread the seat on the ground and catch it.
Mr. Ueo was able to accept six people.
Many people have fallen and died.
Mr. Ueo said, “I didn’t know what was happening when I arrived at the scene. Some people grabbed my shoulders and fell and died. Anyway, I was desperate to help even one person.” I was talking.
Then, when the fire subsided and entered the 7th floor of the building, many people who were late to escape died in a folded manner.
It is said that some people died by putting their faces in the toilet bowl, perhaps because they wanted clean air.
I still can’t forget the scene.
Mr. Ueo said, “I remember that time even after 50 years. I saw the faces of many deceased people on the 7th floor. There must have been a family in each person, and irreparable things happened. I felt it was. “
After this fire, a number of fire protection measures were strengthened, but he emphasizes that it is important for each citizen to be prepared.
Mr. Ueo said, “Even now that the fire resistance standards of buildings have become stricter, the importance of evacuation has not changed. I would like you to be aware of this, such as always checking the position of the evacuation stairs even when you are out.” I did.

[Expert “Issues are still”].
Experts familiar with disaster preparedness point out that the problem still remains 50 years after the fire at the Sennichi department store building.
Professor Emeritus Yoshiteru Murosaki (77) of Kobe University conducted a field survey of this fire at that time.
Professor Emeritus Murosaki says, “I think it was the starting point for thinking about countermeasures for building fires in Japan. We need to keep thinking about how much the issues posed to us have been improved and what has been left behind.”
After the Sennichi department store building fire, various regulations were tightened to prevent the fire, but it is pointed out that the problem of “existing ineligibility” to which the new regulations do not apply still remains.
Professor Emeritus Murosaki said, “Existing ineligible buildings are dangerous buildings under the new law. The national and local governments understand how much and where existing ineligible buildings are, and administrative guidance is given to particularly dangerous buildings. We need to make improvements. “
He then called on the building owners, “The law is just a minimum safety standard. You need to understand that. You need to constantly add safety measures.” ..
And, to the user, “It is important to check by yourself where the stairs of the building are, whether fire prevention measures are taken, etc. I usually learn how to use evacuation equipment etc. and learn about fire. I’d like you to attach it to me. “

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