One killed, two injured in Japan park blasts

The explosions occurred at a park in Utsunomiya, about 100 kilometres north of Tokyo.

The site where an explosion which killed one person and injured two is seen in Utsunomiya, Japan, on October 23, 2016.  Mandatory credit Kyodo/via Reuters
Powered by automated translation

TOKYO // One person was killed and at least two injured by twin near-simultaneous blasts in a Japanese park on Sunday.

The explosions occurred at a park in Utsunomiya, about 100 kilometres north of Tokyo, shortly after 11.30am (6.30am UAE), a fire department spokesman said.

It was not immediately clear what caused the blasts.

“One person was found dead,” the spokesman said.

Public broadcaster NHK said a man’s body, badly burnt in one of the blasts, was found at a bicycle rack inside the park.

The broadcaster added two men, 64 and 58, suffered severe injuries. TV Asahi said they sustained shrapnel wounds, following the explosion inside the park.

“The sex and ages of the three are not known yet,” another fire official said, adding that one blast hit the facility’s car park.

The Yomiuri Shimbun daily said a parked car exploded, badly damaging two other nearby vehicles.

Minutes later police found the scorched body of the man inside the park at a bicycle parking area.

A festival was taking place there but was immediately called off following the blasts, the paper added.

A man told NHK that he “smelled gunpowder in the area” after the explosions.

NHK said the sites of the two explosions were about 200 metres apart, and police found what is believed to be a suicide note in one of the burnt cars.

The vehicle was owned by a 72-year-old former member of the Self-Defence Forces, whose house in Utsunomiya had been destroyed in a fire shortly before the explosions hit, it said.

* Agence France-Presse