An explosion evidently caused by a gas cylinder injured over 50 people just prior to a fireworks display in Japan’s Kyoto prefecture Thursday night, according to media reports.
The cylinder was close to a snacks and drinks counter set up for the grand fireworks festival put on every summer in Japan, according to public broadcaster NHK.
There was an explosion just when the fireworks show was about to start, and people fled as the counter and other objects were thrown into the air and a fire started, according to photographs and accounts posted on the Internet.
Kyodo News reported 59 people taken to the hospital, 19 of whom were seriously injured, several with burns over their entire bodies.
Five were in especially serious condition, said Kyodo, including a 10-year-old boy in intensive care.
The fireworks display was cancelled after the explosion. The event attracted 110,000 spectators last year.
Authorities searched the area for clues among personal belongings which were strewn across the area.
Propane gas cylinders used at the stalls apparently exploded, according to the local chamber of commerce, which organized the fireworks show.
Some witnesses said they heard more than one explosion.
“I heard a bang and then saw a billow of smoke,” said a 37-year-old man who was standing near the blast site, reported Kyodo. Image/Google Images