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Tokyo Explosion, Fire Kills 41

August 31, 2001

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TOKYO (AP) _ An explosion and fire tore through a gambling parlor in a bustling Tokyo nightclub district early Saturday, killing at least 41 people and injuring dozens more, officials said.

Firefighters were checking to see if any people were still in the building, Public broadcaster NHK television said. The fire was on the third and fourth floors and appeared to be extinguished.

Reports said that while many of the injured suffered burns some people were hurt when they jumped out of the building to escape the flames.

Fire Department officials said at least 41 people died in the blaze, an increase from earlier reports of 21 dead.

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