McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

February 20, 2013

14 injured, no deaths reported

Cadaver dogs search after Kansas City gas blast

By DANA FIELDS and MARIA SUDEKUM
Associated Press

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Firefighters with cadaver dogs are searching through the rubble of a popular Kansas City restaurant leveled by a natural gas explosion and massive fire.

At least 14 people were injured, but there were no reported fatalities in the hours after JJ’s restaurant was destroyed by the blast and flames around 6 p.m. Tuesday. The 27-year-old, one-story restaurant was located on the edge of the Country Club Plaza shopping and dining district.

Kansas City Fire Chief Paul Berardi says the site won’t be released to investigators looking for the cause of the explosion until the search of the wreckage is complete. Berardi says that such a search is normal procedure.

Missouri Gas Energy said in a statement it appeared that a contractor doing underground work struck a natural gas line.