Published on : Monday, December 17, 2018
An explosion in Sapporo, the capital city of Japan’s northern main island of Hokkaido left over 40 people mildly injured. One of them is seriously injured. There were children among the injured.
The cause of the explosion, in a two-story restaurant in Sapporo’s Toyohira district, is under investigation.
The restaurant is charred and about to collapse. Several firefighters have been pressed into action. More than 20 fire engines were deployed. Some reports suggested a gas blast and the smell of gas around.
Images initially showed flames rising from the area with debris all around. The emergency services were first alerted to the explosion at about 20:30 on Sunday (11:30 GMT).
Officials indicated that the number of injured could rise.
The blast had broken the windows of the restaurant and nearby buildings. The affected area was 3km south-east of the city centre. It had both residential and dining establishments.
Police and fire officials are investigating the cause of Sunday night’s blast. Some reports suggest that there were propane gas tanks in the building.
The district office would set up a shelter for neighbours of the restaurant to stay overnight so they could escape the smoke.
Windows on an apartment building nearby were broken. The cars parked outside were partially covered with debris that had fallen on them.