KANSAS CITY, Mo. – New video emerged today of a massive explosion at a Kansas City restaurant Tuesday night that left one person dead and 15 injured.
The video of the blast at JJ’s Restaurant, an eatery in the upscale Country Club Plaza, came from a surveillance camera at Shelton Travel Service Inc., a nearby business.
The video showed a sudden fiery explosion erupting from the restaurant’s corner location. Numerous cars were stopped at a stoplight in the intersection at the time.
Earlier Wednesday, Kansas City authorities announced that they had found a body at the scene of the blast. One person had been missing since Tuesday evening. Of the 15 people transported to local hospitals Tuesday, nine had been released.
Questions about who was responsible for the deadly explosion went unanswered from various offices Wednesday. A report about a gas leak came in at 5:15 p.m. Tuesday evening. The time-stamp on the surveillance video showed it was nearly half an hour later – 5:44 p.m. – at the time of the blast. The first emergency call about it came at 6:04 p.m.
Pressed by reporters about who was responsible for the tragedy, Kansas City Mayor Sly James responded tersely, “It ain’t going to happen today.”
In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, Missouri Gas Energy said its probe into the blast continued.
“We remain focused on supporting the ongoing investigation into the cause of last night’s incident and on ensuring the continued security of the site,” the company said. “Our heartfelt thoughts and prayers are with all those impacted and their loved ones, and we want to thank the emergency responders for their efforts last night and their continued work today to help so many.”
The chairman of the Missouri Public Service Commission Kevin Gunn said in a statement that early indications point to the incident not stemming from a system failure.
“Very preliminary reports indicate this leak may have been caused by a strike on a line, rather than a spontaneous infrastructure failure,” Gunn said. “However, we cannot know for certain until our staff completes what will be a very detailed inspection.”
Such inspections, Gunn cautioned, can take months.