An explosion at a fireworks festival in Japan left a 13-year-old boy in critical condition and another 58 people injured, news reports said on Friday.

Local authorities in Kyoto prefecture said 19 of those hospitalised suffered serious injuries, the Kyodo News agency reported.

The explosion took place on Thursday night, just before the start of the fireworks festival on the bank of the Yura River in Fukuchiyama city, 450 kilometres west of Tokyo.

Local fire department officials said propane gas cylinders used by stallholders may have exploded, and three stalls caught fire and collapsed, Kyodo reported.

The blast prompted organizers to cancel the annual festival, which attracted about 110,000 spectators last year.

More In: World | International | News