1 dead after 2 explosions hit Japanese city; cause unclear

Firefighters investigate the scene where two cars caught on fire at a parking lot in Utsunomiya, north of Tokyo Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016. Police are investigating two apparent blasts, one at the parking lot and the other at a nearby public park, that happened back-to- back and left one person dead. (Yukie Nishizawa/Kyodo News via AP)

TOKYO (AP) — Two apparent explosions hit the Japanese city of Utsunomiya back-to-back Sunday, killing one person and injuring three others.

The reported blasts occurred before noon at a public park and a nearby parking lot, according to Japanese media reports. It wasn’t clear if they were related, and police are investigating the incidents.

Kyodo News agency said a burned body was found in the park after police received a call saying a person was engulfed in flames following what sounded like an explosion. Three other people were injured.

A few minutes earlier, a car caught on fire in the parking lot. Flames and black smoke shot into the air and repeated bangs could be heard on video posted on the Asahi newspaper’s website. Nearby cars were damaged, but no one was hurt.

Utsunomiya, the capital of Tochigi prefecture, is a city of some 500,000 people about 100 kilometers (60 miles) north of Tokyo. It is near the popular tourist destination of Nikko.

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