TOKYO — The “Science Ministry” where chemists from a secretive cult allegedly made deadly nerve gas had a power supply strong enough to run a medium-sized factory, Japanese television reported yesterday.
The maze-like building at the foot of Mount Fuji reportedly contained tons of chemicals and equipment needed to produce sarin, the deadly gas developed by Nazis during World War II and used in March 20 attacks in the Tokyo subway.
The NHK network said the building used power levels of up to 6,600 volts, roughly the same as a medium-sized factory.
Police reportedly are searching for 30 chemists who worked at the building in Kamikuishiki, 60 miles southwest of Tokyo, for investigation of plotting mass murder. Investigators planned to look at the energy records of the compound to see if the patterns might indicate cult members were making sarin, NHK reported. Police declined to comment.
The sect, called Omu Shinrikyo, or “Supreme Truth,” has denied making the chemical and said it was not involved in the subway attacks that killed 11 and injured 5,500.
Japanese newspapers have reported that the chemicals seized by police at the compound could have produced enough sarin to kill millions of people.
The raids of Omu Shinrikyo facilities continued yesterday.
Police searched a large two-story building in Tomizawa, 18 miles from the Mount Fuji compound, seizing documents, medicine and computer discs. Kyodo News Service quoted former sect members who said the building housed machinery used to make gun triggers and knives.
About 500 officers searched a cult site on Kyushu island, about 550 miles southwest of Tokyo.
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