At least one explosion thundered through the west edge of the County Club Plaza district just after 6 p.m. Tuesday, sending more than a dozen people to hospitals. Some are critically injured. There was ample evidence pointing to natural gas as cause.
Two hours after fire took what was left of the explosion-ripped building, the smell of gas was rich in the nostrils. As many as five hours before the explosion tore apart JJ’s Restaurant, there were accounts of people smelling natural gas in the area, around and to the east of the popular gathering spot.