At least 42 people have been injured, including one critically, in an explosion at a restaurant in northern Japan, fire wrecks building in Sapporo.

The blast Sunday night at a two-story restaurant in Sapporo, the capital of Hokkaido Island, is being investigated, police said.

TV footage from Japanese public broadcaster NHK showed smoke rising from the building, which eventually collapsed.

Pictures from the scene following the blast on Sunday evening showed firefighters searching the building which appeared to have been virtually demolished.

Windows on an apartment building next door were broken, and cars parked outside were partially covered with debris that had fallen on them.

Residents in the area said they smelled gas around the time of the explosion that shattered windows in nearby homes and partially buried cars in debris.

City officials set up shelters for area residents as fire officials warned of the possibility of secondary explosions.

Source: VOA news

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