(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –A large explosion and fire has wrecked a restaurant in the northern Japanese city of Sapporo, injuring more than 40 people, including children.
Police and fire officials were searching for the cause of Sunday night’s blast with some media reports saying it may have involved propane gas tanks in the building.
Sapporo police and fire officials said it was too early to say anything certain about the cause of the explosion.
Pictures from the scene showed firefighters searching the building which appeared to have been virtually demolished.
The Japan Times said the restaurant is in the Hiragishi district of Sapporo, which is the largest city on the northern island of Hokkaido.
Video posted on social media showed flames shooting up into the sky and debris-strewn streets. “I heard a bang which sounded like thunder, and my condo was shaken,” a man who lived nearby was quoted as saying by the Japan Times.
One man suffered burns to his face but his life was not in danger, the police said. Most of the others were treated for superficial injuries. The Jiji news agency said children had been injured in the blast.