A predawn fire raged through the top two floors of a 10-story tourist hotel today, killing 32 persons and injuring more than 60, Tokyo fire department officials said.
Two Americans were among the injured in the blaze at the Hotel New Japan and about 50 others escaped unhurt. One of the dead was Kim Tae Dong, 63, a former South Korean communications minister who was leading a 17-member delegation to a management conference here, Korean Embassy officials reported.
They said two other South Koreans were among the known dead, two were seriously injured and six were unaccounted for.
An undetermined number of the 440 guests registered at the hotel remained unaccounted for as firefighters battled the flames into the midmorning hours before bringing it under control.
The two injured Americans were identified as Malcolm Kravit, 33, of San Francisco, and Sharon Poff, also 33, the wife of a U.S. Air Force officer based in Okinawa. She reportedly jumped from a ninth-floor window and landed on a roof at the fourth- or fifth-floor level, breaking her pelvis and both arms.
A fire department spokesman said three persons were killed when they jumped or fell from the upper windows of the hotel, located in Tokyo's Akasaka nightclub district. Most of those who perished apparently suffocated, the spokesman said.