Published: Mon, December 17, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Scores injured in Japan restaurant explosion

Scores injured in Japan restaurant explosion

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.

Police said 42 people had been injured, but there were no fatalities. They were rushed to nearby hospitals for treatment.

The broadcaster said the district office was to set up a shelter for neighbors of the restaurant to stay overnight so they could escape the smoke.

Image: A neighbour reported that his building had been shaken by the blast.

Numerous customers at the restaurant on the building's first floor said they smelled gas at the time of the explosion, Kyodo News agency reported.

Explosion at restaurant in Japan injures more than 40, officials say

Images uploaded by a Twitter user show a Google Maps image of the scene (left) before the explosion happened.

The fire burned for almost six hours, Kyodo said, and photographs and TV footage showed smoke rising above charred, collapsed debris as dozens of firefighters poured water onto the building. The Jiji news agency said children had been injured in the blast.

The area affected by the explosion and the following fire include both residential and dining establishments and is located 3km south-east the city centre, Japanese broadcaster NHK said.

Windows in a block of flats next door were broken, and cars parked outside were partially covered with debris that had fallen on them.

The explosion also caused a temporary black-out, with 250 buildings losing electricity, but power was later restored, he said.

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