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More than dozen injured in Kansas City gas explosion

(CNN) — Three people are missing and at least 14 people were injured when a gas line in Kansas City, Missouri, exploded and ignited a four-alarm fire, officials said Tuesday night.

3 missing, more than dozen injured in Kansas City gas explosionThe explosion apparently leveled JJ’s restaurant, a popular spot in Country Club Plaza, an upscale shopping district and residential neighborhood that is a regional gathering place.

James Garrett, a spokesman for the Kansas City Fire Department, said three people were unaccounted for Tuesday night.

Missouri Gas Energy said: “Early indications are that a contractor doing underground work struck a natural gas line, but the investigation continues.”

Mayor Sly James said the walls of the restaurant had collapsed.

Dr. Leonardo Lozada, the chief physician at St Luke’s Health Systems, said he heard the explosion at the hospital, which is a block and a half from the restaurant.

“Yes, it was pretty loud. I just heard it; it wasn’t that traumatic,” he said, adding that some people told him they saw the roof blow off.

Officials at three hospitals indicated at least 14 people were hospitalized, including three in critical condition and three in serious condition.

The number of injured had dropped from previous reports because there was “a lot of confusion with people coming into the emergency room.” Lozada told CNN.

Two patients are in critical condition at St. Luke’s Hospital, said Dr. Marc Larsen. One of the patients suffered extensive burns; the other facial trauma, he said. Most of the five other patients suffered minor lacerations or inhalation injuries, he said.

Lozardo said one man had burns to “40% percent of his body, mostly to his lower extremities.”

Garrett said here were no fatalities at the scene, but two of those hurt had life-threatening injuries.

About 100 fire fighters fought the fire before it was put out, fire chief Paul Berardi said.

When the first fire trucks arrived the restaurant was fully involved with a few people inside, he said.

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