US & World

Japan explosion: Dozens injured in Sapporo restaurant blast

Site of explosion in SapporoImage copyright EPA
Image caption The cause of the explosion is not yet known

A huge explosion and fire has hit a restaurant in the northern Japanese city of Sapporo.

Japanese police say 41 people were injured in the explosion, with one of them in a serious condition.

The cause of the explosion in the Toyohira district is not yet known. Some reports suggested a gas blast.

Images on social media initially showed flames rising from the area with debris all around, and later firefighters tackling collapsed buildings.

Police sealed off the area amid fears of more explosions.

The emergency services were first alerted to the explosion at about 20:30 on Sunday (11:30 GMT).

Japanese broadcaster NHK said the area affected had both residential and dining establishments and was about 3km south-east of the city centre.

The Japan Times carried an image of firefighters working at a collapsed building and quoted one eyewitness as saying the explosion sounded like thunder.

Another eyewitness told NHK that the blast had broken the windows of the restaurant he was working in, and that there were “many injured people”.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption The emergency services were first alerted to the explosion at about 20:30 local time on Sunday

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-46585564

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