DEVELOPING: An explosion occurred just after midnight at the U.S. military facility in Sagamihara, Japan, and local emergency crews are battling the resulting flames to try to stop the fire from spreading.
Sagamihara is a city in the Japanese prefecture of Kanagawa, which borders Tokyo.
“An explosion occurred today just after midnight Japan time at a building on a U.S. Army post, the Sagami Depot in the city of Sagamihara, Japan, about 25 miles southwest of Tokyo,” Pentagon spokesman U.S. Navy Commander Bill Urban said in a statement. “There are no reports of injury, and base firefighters and first responders are currently fighting the resulting fire to prevent its spread to nearby buildings. These are all the details we have at this time and will provide further information as we receive it.”
The Sagami General Depot houses storage for petroleum products and ammunition.
“Fire from the American military base has occurred,” the Sagamihara Fire Department said, according to JBC.
Video and photos began streaming in from social media shortly after noon (EST), showing a large explosion, several loud booms, sustained flames and billowing smoke rising from a structure. No injuries have been reported.
A bare warehouse is currently burning on the site, The Daily Mirror reported, citing Japanese broadcasters. Helicopters have been spotted in the area and emergency vehicles are en route to the scene.
An eyewitness told the NHK news agency she initially thought the explosion was thunder, but then heard multiple “explosions in quick succession.” She also reported smelling a “gunpowder-ish smell.”
Three explosions linked to a left-wing extremist group were reported in the vicinity of the base in April, according to the Wall Street Journal.