Some missing, 14 hurt in Missouri shopping district gas explosion

Raquel Erhard – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Kansas City, MO, United States (4E) – Several people were missing and fourteen were wounded Tuesday night after a gas explosion caused a massive fire along a shopping district in Kansas City, Missouri.

According to Kansas City official Troy Schulte, the explosion destroyed JJ’s restaurant and other businesses located around Country Club Plaza.

Fire Chief Paul Berardi said responding firefighters discovered the restaurant ablaze.

CNN reported two people are still missing, and other reports claimed a manager of the ruined restaurant told police three people were unaccounted for although it was unknown if they had left earlier.

Officials said the injured were brought to different hospitals, some in critical condition.

The Missouri Gas Energy revealed that initial investigation indicated a contractor doing underground work hit a natural gas line.

Sniffer dogs searched the debris late Tuesday for signs of human remains, according to KCTV.

Witnesses said they smelled gas an hour before the explosion.

Authorities inspected nearby buildings to ensure that no natural gas was trapped inside.

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