City Fire Battalion Chief James Garrett said it appeared the blast that triggered the fire at JJ's restaurant near the upscale Country Club Plaza was fueled by a gas leak, The Kansas City Star reported. The explosion, which occurred shortly before 6 p.m., could be felt several blocks away.
"I thought something had exploded in my house," said Peggy Zilm, who lives about 7 blocks away. "It's horrible."
The newspaper reported a man with blood on his face was seen being wheeled away on a gurney.
Emergency crews had spread tarps on the street and had other gurneys out, possibly in anticipation of further victims, the Star said.
The University of Kansas Hospital said two people with injuries came in on their own.