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MAEBASHI, Gunma Pref. (Kyodo) A container on a moving truck exploded early Thursday in Gunma Prefecture, damaging local shops and slightly injuring a 70-year-old resident, police said.

The blast occurred around 1:30 a.m. in the town of Tamamura as the truck, which was carrying construction machinery and gasoline fueling equipment, was en route from the prefectural capital of Maebashi to Yokoyama port, the police said.

The driver, Yasuyoshi Kitaoka, 59, was unhurt, they said.

Witnesses said the blast was deafening.

“I heard a huge sound, and I thought a car had slammed into a house,” said Yukio Tsukui, 60, who runs a fertilizer shop near the site. The blast was strong enough to shatter glasses in his warehouse, he said.

A shop dealing in handmade porcelain fared much worse and the blast destroyed nearly half the building, owner Namiko Aikawa, 58, said.

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