TODAYS TOP STORIES
Injuries Reported in Massive Kansas City Fire
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Police say seven or eight people have been injured in the gas main explosion and fire at a restaurant in a Kansas City shopping district.
Police Sgt. Tony Sanders said the manager of JJ's restaurant also has told police three people are unaccounted for, but he doesn't know if they left before the explosion.
Sanders says a few of those injured have been taken to hospitals.
Police spokeswoman Rhonda Flores said it appeared that a car crashed into a gas main near a restaurant at 6:03 p.m. Flores said injuries were reported but that she did not know how many or how severe. She noted an initial call for three ambulances had been increased to 10. She said she had not heard of any reported fatalities. Flores said the car crash appeared to have been accidental.
Kerry O'Connor, a spokeswoman for St. Luke's Hospital, which is near the scene of the fire, said several patients were on the way to the hospital. She said they haven't been assessed yet but "they appear to be critical at this time."
Fire officials didn't immediately return a phone call seeking comment Tuesday evening.
The smell of gas was very strong near the area long after the suspected explosion.
Video showed dozens of firefighters and other emergency responders battling a massive blaze that appeared to have engulfed an entire block, with flames burning through the roofs. Black smoke swirled in the air and debris littered surrounding streets.
The shopping area was established in 1922 by J.C. Nichols. Based on the architecture of Seville, Spain, it includes retail, restaurants, apartments and offices.
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Posted: Tuesday, February 19 2013, 09:12 PM CST
IN OKLAHOMA NEWS
Tornado watch issued for western, central Oklahoma
May 18, 2013 22:57 GMT
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- A tornado watch is in effect for western and central Oklahoma.
The weather system brought severe thunderstorms to the Altus and Clinton areas, as well as Harper County late Saturday afternoon. There were no reports of rotation as evening approached but the tornado watch lasts until 11 p.m. Saturday.
The dangerous weather is forecast to continue into Sunday night as the system progresses to the east.
The tornado watch area Saturday stretched from eastern edge of the Panhandle to include the Oklahoma City area.
Forecasters warn that the system could also bring large hail.
The National Weather Service in Norman reports tennis ball-size hail along U.S. 62 near the border of Harmon and Jackson counties in the state's far southwest.
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