japan explosion
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More than 40 people have been injured in an explosion at a restaurant in northern Japan, police have confirmed.

The blast occurred in the city of Sapporo. The cause of the explosion is currently unknown.

One person is in critical condition, according to fire department officials cited by The Japan Times.

Several people were rushed to hospital by ambulance following the blast.

The building erupted in flames and its walls collapsed following the blast. Roofs and windows from nearby buildings were shattered due to the impact of the explosion, The Mainichi reported.

"I heard a 'bang,' which sounded like thunder, and my condo was shaken," a local resident in his 50s told The Japan Times.

Authorities were alerted to the explosion in at around 8:30 pm local time on Sunday.

The area where the explosion occurred is located about 50 meters from a metro station. Sapporo's Toyohira Ward neighborhood is home to many popular eateries, bars, and shops.