A gas canister exploded at the entrance to a large bookstore in Sapporo's Kita Ward on Tuesday morning, a week after a 51-year-old woman was arrested over a series of similar blasts in the ward earlier this year.
According to police, a gas canister of the type used for portable stoves was inserted into the roof overhanging the entrance to the bookstore. TBS reported that it exploded sometime early in the morning. The hole was discovered by a janitor at around 7:30 a.m. No one was injured, police said.
Several hundred 3.5-cm-long nails were found nearby, as well as a solid fuel igniter and a second exploded canister, police said.
Japanese media speculated Tuesday whether police arrested the wrong person last week in connection with five gas canister blasts in Kita Ward this year.
The suspect, Sanae Nasukawa, has so far only been charged with the 5th explosion that took place at a police dorm on April 3, but she has denied the charge, police said.
Since January, there have been five mysterious explosions of gas canisters filled with nails and thumb tacks at a police station, a home center, an Ito-Yokado store and a shop within a 3-km radius of a police station in Kita Ward. In the fifth blast at the police dorm on April 3, the canister was filled with nails. Nobody was hurt in any of the blasts.
Surveillance camera footage placed Nasukawa's car at the scene of the April 3 blast.© Japan Today