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UPDATED – Watch live: Explosion levels Kansas City restaurant. Multiple injuries. Pre-arrival video added.

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Coverage from

Kansas City Star:

Kansas City police say there are no known deaths as yet from an explosion and fire Tuesday evening just west of the Country Club Plaza.

But sources tell The Star that one employee of JJ’s resturant, the site of the explosion, remains unaccounted for.

At least 15 people are being treated at area hospitals, several in critical condition. The fire that resulted from the explosion at JJ’s restaurant, 910 W. 48th St. was upgraded to a four-alarm blaze. Fire crews reported about 7:45 p.m. that the gas company said it had turned off gas in the area. A fire official said the explosion appears to have been an accident.


At least 10 people were taken to hospitals after an explosion and fire at a restaurant west of the Country Club Plaza.

A gas explosion started the fire just before 6 p.m. at J.J.’s Restaurant near 48th Street and Belleview Avenue. A police representative said a car hit a gas main.


Flames and thick black smoke were seen pouring from the building and could be seen from miles away. St. Luke’s Hospital said five patients had been brought to the hospital and at least some were in serious condition.

The University of Kansas Hospital said it had received four patients and had a fifth on the way, hospital spokeswoman Jill Chadwick said. Two of the patients were in the trauma unit. She said most of the patients were being treated for lacerations.

James Armer said he was about a mile and a half away and heard the explosion and saw debris flying about 100 feet into the air.


Comments - Add Yours

  • Fire21

    Wow, that one aerial view showed some real kick-ass fire!! I wonder how much damage the Bravo exposure took?

    • BH

      No kidding. I think I’d bang two more alarms just for that building, and another two for the fire building. To start.

  • VanMan

    “A car hit a gas main”??? Maybe KC oughta think about burying them, the way everyone else does.

  • David Mitchell

    According to a Kansas City Star article there was an “overpowering” smell of gas next to the restaurant as early as 5:00 PM. One eyewitness reported that the KCFD was on the scene but did not order an evacuation.

    One KC TV stations is reporting eyewitnesses as saying that construction workers admitted to striking a gas line but seemed to show little concern for the safety of people and property. This article makes no mention of the KCFD being on the scene prior to the explosion.

    There is clearly more news to come…

  • Anonymous

    FD had run an odor of gas at the structure 50 minutes before the explosion. Got to love the BS smells and bells calls, one is a million times they will totally screw you.

    • Anonymous

      NO, FD had run a 911 call from the contractor stating they hit a gas main. Big difference. Then FD left, that’s apparently their policy.

  • Pingback: Gas Explosion Ignites Block of Commercial Buildings in Kansas City | Firegeezer()

  • Brian Haggerty

    In the helicopter fly over you can see a burning backhoe on the closed off street that they were doing construction work on. In this day and age it is still hard to believe that an operator ( backhoe) doesn’t know that as soon as he hits a line he has to call it in to the local Fire Department and gas company to have it checked. And I can’t imagine that if the FD was on scene for any amount of time, and having be given the proper info, that they would not have done an evacuation. I think we have to wait a couple of days for the investigation to show a time line of what really happened. More than likely the backhoe hit the line and pulled it loose underground. They didn’t act on that because they didn’t see the underground leak and failed to follow good safety procedures. The gas built up in the restaurant and exploded when it found an ignition source along with the correct gas /oxygen ratio from the leak. Not the first time a backhoe pulled a line loose and broke it underground thinking they skated. I have worked many traffic directing details over 28 years on the PD. Many details with other subs and utilities workers and many with the gas company. I also hold a license to operate construction equipment. I learned from working details and also from getting a license for excavating machines that if you hit a gas pipe in the street, call it in if you did anything but brush dirt off of it. Any solid contact with a bucket from a machine needs a proper investigation and the gas company with a valve wrench to shut off the line. The Fire department needs a call also if there is any chance of a leak so they can direct proper invest and evac. Hitting the line was a mistake. Lack of calling in the dig, not being marked properly or poor digging by the operator. But after hitting the line if they didn’t call gas and fire, then that is negligence on their part. The invest will show soon enough.