Dozens hurt as huge explosion destroys restaurant
More than 40 people have been injured in an explosion that destroyed a restaurant in Sapporo, northern Japan.
Police said one person was in a serious condition while another 40 suffered mild injuries in the blast in the capital city of Japan's northern main island Hokkaido.
They were still being treated at nearby hospitals last night.
Television footage showed the restaurant in flames. The cause of the explosion in the district of Toyohira is being investigated.
The footage later showed grey smoke billowing from the restaurant as dozens of firefighters poured water on to the building, which was charred and nearly collapsing.
Windows in a block of flats next door were broken, and cars parked outside were partially covered with debris that had fallen on them.
A witness told Japanese public broadcaster NHK that he smelled gas after the sound of an explosion.