More than 40 people were injured in an explosion on Sunday night at a Japanese restaurant in northern Japan, police said.
The explosion occurred in Sapporo, capital city of Japan’s northern main island of Hokkaido, and caused nearby flat buildings and houses to shake.
Police said 42 people were injured, most of them mildly, though one was in serious condition. They were rushed to nearby hospitals for treatment.
The cause of explosion, which occurred at a 2 story restaurant in Sapporo’s Toyohira district, is under investigation, police said, adding that they had no further details.
TV footage from Japanese public broadcaster NHK showed restaurant in flames, with debris scattered on ground.
The footage later showed grey smoke billowing from restaurant as dozens of firefighters poured water onto the building, which was charred and nearly collapsing. Windows on an apartment building upcoming door were broken, and cars parked outside were partially covered with debris that had fallen on them.
A witness told NHK that he smelled gas after sound of an explosion. The broadcaster said district office was to set up a shelter for neighbours of the restaurant to stay overnight so they could escape the smoke.