On May 9th, it was reported that AKB48’s Takahashi Minami cut her hair after being involved in a fire incident.
According to persons concerned with the investigation, the incident happened on May 4th around 2:30 pm. Before going in to work, Takahashi went shopping at a clothing store in Sarugakucho, Shibuya. She had been carrying a paper bag from a different store in her right hand. The shop was decorated with aroma candles, and one of the candles lit Takahashi’s paper bag on fire. The fire was immediately put out by the store clerks, and no one was hurt.
At the time of the incident, Takahashi said that she smelled something burning. She then realized that her bag was on fire. After the fire alarm went off, a store clerk called 119 (Emergency Telephone Number in Japan).
On May 4th, Takahashi updated her blog reporting that she had cut her hair and uploaded a photo of herself. Then on the 9th, fans started to speculate that her haircut was the result of the fire accident.
That same night, AKB48 held their performance, ‘Tadaima Renaichu‘, at Tokyo Dome City Hall. Halfway through the show, Takahashi announced, “There was a happening while I was shopping in my private time,” and explained the incident, “The left half of my hair burned.” She then revealed that she had to cut her hair because she had work in about 4 hours, and concluded by bowing her head, “I’m sorry.”
The accident took place at a popular women’s clothing store. During a interview with Sankei Sports, a female worker of the store commented, “On that day, Takahashi-san came to the store by herself. There are no supervisors at the moment, so I don’t know. For safety reasons, we have removed the aroma candles after the commotion.”
Takamina apologized for worrying people (because of the rumors about the fire), not just because she cut her hair.