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Japan restaurant explosion injures dozens

20 December 2018

Forty-two people have been injured in a suspected gas explosion at a restaurant in Japan, according to police and local media.

The cause of the explosion, which occurred around 8:30 p.m. local time, is unknown, and emergency services continue to investigate.

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

Around 42 people have been injured, although there could be fatalities. By the force of the Detonation and of the following Brands window panes of the surrounding residential homes and Restaurants, and shattered by the news Agency Kyodo reported.

After the explosion at around 8:30 p.m. Sunday, the two-story building in the city's Toyohira Ward collapsed nearly entirely and the flames spread to an adjacent fast-food restaurant.

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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". Some residents told reporters they thought the blast was an natural disaster.

National broadcaster NHK said it took firefighters several hours to extinguish the flames, with dozens of vehicles mobilised to deal with the accident. They are being treated at nearby hospitals.

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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.

Images on social media initially showed flames rising from the area with debris all around, and later firefighters tackling collapsed buildings. The broadcaster said the district office was to set up a shelter for neighbours of the restaurant to stay overnight so they could escape the smoke.

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Japan restaurant explosion injures dozens