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Food stall owner arrested over fatal blast at Kyoto fireworks festival

JIJI

Police arrested a food stall owner Wednesday over an explosion at a fireworks event in Fukuchiyama, Kyoto Prefecture, on Aug. 15 that killed three people and injured 55 others, including him.

Ryohei Watanabe, 38, was arrested by the Kyoto Prefectural Police on suspicion of professional negligence resulting in death and injury.

Watanabe was discharged Wednesday morning from an Osaka Prefecture hospital, where he had been treated for burns since the explosion.

The police believe he opened a can of gasoline to refuel an electricity generator at the stall without using a decompression device. As a result, gasoline sprayed from the can, causing the stall to catch on fire, resulting in the blast.

The explosion, which occurred just before the fireworks event was scheduled to start, killed a 44-year-old woman, a 10-year-old boy and a 35-year-old man who were close to the stall at the time.