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Critical Injuries Reported After Enormous Restaurant Fire In Kansas City

Firefighters are trying to contain the blaze, which was apparently caused by vehicle crashing into a gas main.

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The massive fire broke out around 6 p.m. Tuesday at Kansas City's JJ's Restaurant, according to reports. Neighbors said they smelled gas before hearing the explosion, which reportedly sent debris flying 100 feet into the air.

According to CNN, 19 people were hospitalized with injuries — seven are in critical condition and two are in serious condition. Witnesses told KCTV they saw people run from JJ's covered in blood.

UPDATE - Feb. 19, 11:34 p.m.: Contractor struck an underground gas line triggering the fire.

Update: Missouri Gas Energy statement says "early indications" are a contractor struck an underground gas line triggering #PlazaFire blast

Update: Missouri Gas Energy statement says "early indications" are a contractor struck an underground gas line triggering #PlazaFire blast-- NBC News

The Mayor has also provided updates about the explosion:

Fire is mostly under control. Chief Berardi and Gas Co now working to prevent secondary explosions. Our FD is doing a fantastic job!

Fire is mostly under control. Chief Berardi and Gas Co now working to prevent secondary explosions. Our FD is doing a fantastic job!-- Mayor Sly James

Pray for the people on the plaza, folks. Everybody please stay calm and away from the Area. responders need room to work.

Pray for the people on the plaza, folks. Everybody please stay calm and away from the Area. responders need room to work.-- Mayor Sly James

View this video on YouTube

Here's what JJ's looked like this morning:

Jessica Testa is a national reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Jessica Testa at jessica.testa@buzzfeed.com.

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