Images from the scene showed large flames and plumes of smoke rising in the night air after the blast in the city of Sapporo. The explosion at a restaurant in northern Japan injured 42 people late Sunday (16th Dec), police said, with the blast reportedly causing surrounding buildings to collapse. Reports SBS news.
Fires broke out following the incident in the northern city of Sapporo, Kyodo news agency said, and images from the scene showed large flames and plumes of smoke rising in the night air.
National broadcaster NHK said the flames were extinguished several hours after the fire broke out, with police and fire department officers still at the site.
Earlier police warned of secondary explosions, according to Kyodo, which described buildings collapsing following the incident around 8.30 pm local time.
Other witnesses shared photos and videos of the incident on Twitter, showing the burning building and thick black smoke.
An investigation into the cause is ongoing, one of the options being considered is that of a gas explosion.
Image for illustration.