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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Critical Injuries at 4-Alarm Fire in KC-MO's Plaza

An explosion and fire has demolished the building that housed JJ's restaurant at 910 West 48th Street on the west side of Kansas City's famous Country Club Plaza shopping-residential and office district.

News media reports say a leaking natural gas line apparently exploded.

Fire department paramedics reported at least "five (5)" critical injuries at the scene at 6:13 pm..

At least three of those victims were suffering "burns."

When paramedics first arrived around 6 pm- they found victims "walking around" within "a block away" from the fire and explosion.

At least four additional patients have been reported as of 6:28 pm.

Two people reportedly arrived at the University of Kansas Medical Center by private vehicle.

At least two people with minor injuries reportedly "walked to St. Luke's" Plaza hospital at 44th Street and Wornall.

It's unknown how many- if anyone- was trapped inside the collapsed and burning building.

At 7:52 pm- KSHB-41 News reported "three people unaccounted for" at the fire scene.

By Wednesday morning- the number of the missing had dropped to one- a female employee of JJ's.

41 News was also reporting a total of "14" injured people transported to at least five Metro hospitals- "7" of those have "serious" injuries..

The total number of injured had increased to "16" by the next morning- with "3" of those still in critical condition.

Also- at 10:54 am Wednesday morning- the Jackson County "medical examiner" had been requested at the fire scene.

Firefighters reportedly found a body in the wreckage of the restaurant- thought to be that of a missing female employee of JJ's..

Three of the injured were reported to be firefighters- but their injuries weren't serious and they reportedly returned to the fire scene.

The KC-MO Fire department response was upgraded to a 4th-alarm with at least a dozen EMS units dispatched to the scene.

Fire companies as well as EMS crews from KC and Johnson County Kansas assisted Missouri covering empty fire stations.

A large 3-story office building immediately north of the demolished restaurant was damaged.

Except for a small fire still burning from the residual natural gas- the fire in JJ's was reported "out" at 7:47 pm..

Firefighters were doing overhaul and possible recovery at that time.

KC's TV news media have interviewed at least a half-dozen people who claimed they had smelled a natural gas odor since early Monday afternoon- and that Missouri Gas Energy (MGE) employees were on the scene when the explosion occurred.

The force of the explosion also blew the glass from windows and doors of buildings up to a block away from the northeast corner of West 48th Street and Bellevue.

The last explosion in this area involving natural gas and injuries occurred in August 1962 near the intersection of West 46th Street and Wyoming.

Two were injured with 23 homes damaged- 11 of those destroyed.

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