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14 hurt in Kansas City fire

14 hurt in Kansas City fire
February 20
06:32 2013
Firefighters are on the scene of a gas explosion and massive fire Tuesday night, Feb. 19, 2013 at JJ's restaurant at the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, Mo. A car crashed into a gas main in the upscale Kansas City shopping district, sparking a massive blaze that engulfed an entire block and caused multiple injuries, police said. (AP Photo/The Kansas City Star, Tammy Ljungblad)

Firefighters are on the scene of a gas explosion and massive fire Tuesday night, Feb. 19, 2013 at JJ’s restaurant at the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, Mo. A car crashed into a gas main in the upscale Kansas City shopping district, sparking a massive blaze that engulfed an entire block and caused multiple injuries, police said. (AP Photo/The Kansas City Star, Tammy Ljungblad)

By Maria Sudekum
Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A gas explosion that sparked a massive, block-engulfing blaze in an upscale Kansas City shopping district injured 14 people, a city official said Tuesday evening, adding it is believed that an accident by a utility contractor may have caused the blast.

Police Sgt. Tony Sanders said the manager of JJ’s restaurant was unable to account for three people, but it was unclear whether they were caught in the blaze or had left earlier. “The first thing we need to be concerned about is the people that are injured,” said Mayor Sly James, who also praised the work of first responders.
James said officials were in contact with Missouri Gas Energy.

The University of Kansas Hospital was treating five people injured in the blast, said spokesman Bob Hallinan.

He said one person was in critical condition, two were in serious condition and two others were expected to be released. He said all the injuries were traumatic.

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