Explosion near pub in Sapporo, Japan injures dozens

Cheryl Sanders
December 17, 2018

More than 40 people were injured in a major explosion at a two-storey izakaya bar in Sapporo last night, Japanese media reports have said, citing local fire department officials.

It is not clear what caused the explosion at this stage, although people who witnessed the aftermath of the blast said the area smelled of gas.

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

But investigators were also looking into at least nine propane tanks installed in the building for the various businesses located inside.

The Fire and Disaster Management Agency said it has dispatched seven officials to the site to look into the cause.

One person was in serious condition, but police said the other injuries were mostly mild. Among the injured were several children, as well as a man who suffered burns and a woman who jumped from the building to escape, breaking her leg in the process.

They wrote on Twitter: "I thought it was thunder but it is a gas explosion".

"The ceiling fell, then the entire second floor collapsed and we were all stuck".

Firefighters carry on rescue works after an explosion at a restaurant in Sapporo, in the northern Hokkaido prefecture on December 16, 2018.

News pictures from public broadcaster NHK at 9pm showed violent flames that firefighters were struggling to contain as emergency responders ferried restaurant employees and diners from the rubble.

Dozens of people have been injured in the explosion in Sapporo.

Other reports by iNewsToday