A suspected gas explosion and subsequent fire injured 42 people in Sapporo, Japan, Sunday evening.
The wooden building that crumbled and reduced to ash contained a pub, real estate agency and a clinic according to Kyodo News. The blast occurred at 8:30 in the Toyohira department in the northern city, which is the capital of Hokkaido Island.
A 32-year-old employee at the real estate agency was seriously injured, according to Kyodo News. The power of the explosion split windows into nearby apartments and restaurants, while the subsequent fire burned for more than five hours.
One of the victims was a 1 year old baby, according to Kyodo News.
Witnesses reported fire and panic spread through the bar, with someone who told the Kyodo News explosion lifting his body and threw it to the floor. He jumped from an open window to fly, he said.
Another witness told the news that the second floor had collapsed, but that people could kick through a wall and create an opening that the pub’s patrons and staff used to fly.
Had the second floor not collapsed, “everyone might have been stuck there and burned to death,” said the 49-year-old man.