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HQ of major contractor Hazama Ando raided over deadly Tokyo fire

This photo provided by a passerby shows smoke rising from a construction site on fire, in the western Tokyo city of Tama on July 26, 2018.

TOKYO -- Metropolitan Police Department investigators raided the headquarters of Hazama Ando Corp. here and other locations on Aug. 28 on suspicion of professional negligence resulting in death in connection with a deadly fire in late July at a construction site managed by the major contractor in Tokyo's western suburbs.

Investigators intend to analyze documents seized from Hazama Ando offices to determine whether the company had been aware of any danger associated with the work and had implemented proper safety precautions at the site in the city of Tama, where five workers were killed by the fire and about 40 others were injured.

The blaze on July 26 was apparently caused by sparks from a gas burner used to cut steel frames on the third underground floor of the structure that set alight a urethane heat shield.

Last year, Hazama Ando caused a fire triggered by gas burner sparks that set alight a urethane heat shield during demolition work on a storehouse.

(Japanese original by Shota Harumashi, City News Department)

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