Fire in central Japan engulfs 140 buildings

Tokyo, Dec 22 (IANS) A fire broke out at a restaurant in central Japan on Thursday and engulfed over 140 buildings, police said.

The fire broke out around 10.30 a.m. at a restaurant in central Itoigawa, a city of about 45,000 people on the Sea of Japan coast in Niigata prefecture.

It spread quickly due to a strong wind. Two women in their 40s were injured, Xinhua news agency reported.

The fire lasted over 10 hours before it stopped spreading. Over 740 people in some 360 households in the vicinity had been advised to evacuate.

It was the most serious fire accident in Japan in 20 years except for the ones caused by earthquakes or tsunamis, according to local reports.

–IANS

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