Three killed in apparent gas blast

Three people were killed and six injured Saturday in an explosion apparently caused by a gas leak at a five-story building under renovation in Kita Ward, Tokyo.

The explosion occurred at around 2:30 p.m. in the basement where utility workers were conducting gas fitting work. They earlier notified Tokyo Gas Co. that a gas pipe had ruptured, leading police and firefighters to believe it was a gas blast.

The three dead were among the 11 utility workers at the site. Two of the three were identified as Kazunari Yoshida, 27, and Shinji Nishida, 28, and the other one is believed to be Tomoyuki Sugimura, 35.