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Explosion in Sapporo injures dozens

20 December, 2018, 05:12 | Author: Ted Wilson
  • An explosion rocked a restaurant on Japan's main Hokkaido on Sunday

Local residents likened the sudden explosion to an natural disaster, a thunderbolt and a missile strike, while passers-by continued to report a lingering pungent gas smell.

Firefighters operate at the site where a large explosion occurred at a restaurant in Sapporo, Hokkaido, northern Japan, in this photo taken by Kyodo December 16, 2018.

The building, a pub on one floor and a real estate office on the other, was destroyed.

In February, 11 people were killed in Sapporo after a fire broke out at a home for elderly people with financial difficulties.

After an investigation carried out this morning, Hokkaido police now suspect a gas leakage at the estate agency caused stockpiled liquified gas inside the building to explode.

One person is in critical condition, according to fire department officials cited by The Japan Times.

Another clerk at a nearby restaurant told Japanese broadcaster NHK there was a "tremendous sound".

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Additional details about the cause of the blast and extent of those injured were not immediately known.

Eye witnesses have told various news sources that the blast caused windows to shatter in surrounding buildings.

The cause of the explosion is now unknown.

"Immediately after the sound of the explosion, windows were broken and bits of glass hit me".

More than the 20 fire engines were deployed.

A local fire department said the three tenants in the building were poorly prepared for fires, with authorities having found no equipment for evacuations or alarms there during an on-site inspection in October.

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