KANSAS CITY: A gas explosion that sparked a massive, block-engulfing blaze in an upscale Kansas City shopping district injured 14 people, a city official said yesterday evening, adding that it is believed that an accident involving a utility contractor may have caused the blast.
City Manager Troy Schulte said he did not know of anyone being reported missing and had not heard of any fatalities.
Earlier Kansas City police had said the blast was caused by a car crashing into a gas main just after 6 p.m, but fire officials said later they were not aware of a crash being involved in the blast.
Other witnesses noted street signs in the area indicated utility work was being done in the area, and a worker at a restaurant destroyed in the fire said the facility was being renovated at the time.
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.