The Japanese police are investigating the causes of the explosion in a building, in which there is a restaurant, which injured 42 people on Sunday night in Sapporo, on the Japanese island of Hokkaido.
The explosion caused a fire of small wooden buildings near the site, so they collapsed partially. Dozens of residents had to spend the night in a shelter, authorities said.
“There are 42 injured” but there are no deaths, said a police official in the Hokkaido region. Among them several children, a man who suffered burns and a woman who jumped from the building and broke her leg.
The television images showed charred remains surrounded by black smoke while the firemen were still working. Witnesses told the press that they heard a loud detonation.
On Monday, the investigation of this explosion recorded the day before at 8:30 pm continued according to the authorities. The press evokes the hypothesis of a gas leak.
Public television NHK broadcast the testimony of a real estate agent in the building in question, which indicated that the explosion occurred when he turned on the water heater after evacuating the gas left in the aerosols as required by the domestic waste recovery services.
Other witnesses saw smoke coming out of those aerosols. But researchers are interested in about nine propane cylinders placed in the building for the use of the different companies that operate there. “I heard a detonation noise and my house trembled,” a man in his 50s told the Japan Times.
“We investigate in detail about the damage, with the police,” said the head of the fire department. Public television NHK said that firefighters took several hours to put out the fire. In Japan there are many old buildings of small or medium size entirely built of wood.