News Agency of Nigeria (NAN)

Multiple blasts rock Japan city

Site of the Japan park blasts

Multiple blasts in a park located around Utsunomiya, a Japan city, have killed at least one person and injured at least two, emergency services say.

According to the BBC, the explosions took place almost simultaneously at about 11:30 local time (02:30 GMT) in the city in Tochigi prefecture, north of Tokyo.

Tokyo-based broadcaster NHK World broadcast images showing two burnt-out cars in a parking area.

It was not immediately clear what had caused the explosions.

Kyodo news agency said a festival celebrating traditional culture had been taking place in a nearby park, where at least one of the explosions was reported to have taken place.

A man who was in the park at the time told NHK that he heard “a big sound” and smelled gunpowder.

The broadcaster also reported that a video camera at nearby Utsunomiya station recorded the sound of three explosions in quick succession – at 11:31, 11:32, and a third “bigger sound” 15 seconds later.

Photographs showed a splintered and broken bench in the area of one of the blasts, while others posted to social media appeared to show a column of black smoke rising from the area.

Police have cordoned off the area.