Huge Blaze At Kansas City, Missouri Shopping District

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At least 14 people have been injured after a suspected gas explosion triggered a huge blaze in a shopping district in Kansas City, Missouri.

 

 
At least 14 people have been injured after a suspected gas explosion triggered a huge blaze in a shopping district in Kansas City, Missouri.
 
Kansas City Manager Troy Schulte said officials did not know if anyone was killed in the fire, which destroyed a restaurant and other businesses.
 
Local TV showed flames shooting out of the Country Club Plaza retail area.
 
Mr Schulte said officials believed the explosion may have stemmed from an utility contractor accident.
 
A doctor with St Luke's Hospital told reporters two of the injured being treated there were in critical condition, one with "pretty severe burns".
 
Six others walked into the hospital with minor injuries.
 
The Kansas City Star reported a total of 15 patients across three area hospitals, including St Luke's Hospital.
 
A manager of the restaurant destroyed in the blaze, JJ's, told police three people were unaccounted for but it was unclear if they had left earlier.
 
Images from the scene showed firefighters and other emergency teams battling a massive blaze that appeared to have engulfed an entire block.
 
The initial blast was felt beyond the shopping area.
 
"I thought something had exploded in my house," Peggy Zilm, who lives about seven blocks from the fire, told the Star.
 
The shopping area, established in 1922, is based on the architecture of Seville, Spain, and includes retail, restaurants, apartments and offices.
 
There were signs utility work was being done in area ahead of the blast, and one man told told the Star he saw Missouri Gas Energy workers inside JJs with gas detectors.