Shuri Castle fire investigation ‘inconclusive’, Okinawa Police Department says

Shuri Castle fire investigation ‘inconclusive’, Okinawa Police Department says

Police and fire officers inspecting the scene of the fire at the Shuri Castle seiden main hall around 12:12 p.m. on November 1, 2019, in Naha City.

January 29, 2020 Ryukyu Shimpo

The Okinawa Prefectural Police Department’s First Investigations Division ended its investigation of the Shuri Castle fire, in which six buildings including the castle’s seiden main hall was burned to the ground.

The police department previously collected something like a cluster of electrical wires from the northeast side of the seiden, where a crowded electrical system was suspected to be the likely cause of the fire.

The electrical wires were sent to the prefectural police forensic science laboratories for analysis.

On January 29, the investigation announced the results to be inconclusive and the cause of the fire remains unknown.

Factual existence of a crime could not be established from police questionings of associated parties or from analysis of surveillance footage.

Okinawa Churashima Foundation Research Center, the designated manager of Shuri Castle Park, did not find facts to which criminal laws and regulations are applicable.

Just days before January 31, three months to the day since the fire, the investigation ended inconclusively.

According to the First Investigations Division, there were about 46 wire-like objects collected from the scene, which were analyzed by its forensic laboratory.

They found evidence of molten copper; heat from a nearby fire broke the copper wires, causing the cut section to melt and form spherical beads. However, no short circuits that may have caused the fire were found.

(English translation by T&CT and Monica Shingaki)

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