Explosions in Shibuya kill two

Kyodo News

Several blasts Wednesday tore through a building storing explosives for movie prop guns in the center of an upscale neighborhood in Shibuya Ward, Tokyo. Two people were confirmed killed and another seriously injured in the blasts and subsequent fire, police said.

Police identified the bodies of Kiyoko Yokoyama, 88, and her daughter-in-law, Yoko, 55. Shinichi Yokoyama, 60, Yoko’s husband, sustained serious burns in a blast at around 12:30 p.m. while working in the three-story Aoyama district building.

Yokoyama was quoted as saying, “There was an explosion while I was mixing explosives at a work space on the first floor.”

Police are investigating whether the blast was the result of mishandling of the explosives.

Yokoyama’s two sons, aged 29 and 23, escaped via a second-floor balcony but suffered minor injuries, the authorities said.

The fire also destroyed a home across the street.

“I heard a sound like something dropping (onto the ground) and my house shook. The explosions continued, and a fire broke out,” a 60-year-old local resident said.

“Pieces of glass were blown onto the street about 50 meters away” from the place of the explosions, said another man who lives in the neighborhood.