Apocalyptic Natural Gas Explosion Levels Kansas City Restaurant

Feb 20th, 2013 | By Mark | Category: Lead Articles, Natural Gas Explosions

NatGas Consulting

UPDATE: Kansas City Mayor Sly James confirmed that one person has died in connection with last night’s natural gas explosion, which leveled JJ’s, a popular mid-town restaurant, shortly after 6 p.m. CST.

The mayor will hold another press conference to provide additional information this afternoon at 4:45 p.m CST (5:45 p.m. EST).

A powerful natural gas explosion leveled JJ's, a popular mid-town restaurant in Kansas City, MO, yesterday a few minutes after 6 p.m., CST, while the joint was crowded with Happy Hour patrons.

A massive natural gas explosion destroyed a crowded, mid-town restaurant yesterday during Happy Hour in Kansas City, MO, a few minutes after 6 p.m CST.

The cause of the blast that demolished JJ’s, an establishment popular among Kansas City locals, has been attributed to natural gas and speculation has centered around contractors who were reportedly operating excavation equipment in the area, although the exact source of ignition has not yet been determined, according to a recent statement from the gas utility, Missouri Gas Energy.

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A massive fire triggered by a natural gas explosion rages out of control in mid-town Kansas City, MO, yesterday. Image courtesy KCTV-TV5.

According to media accounts, the explosion injured 16 people, four seriously, and one person remains missing.

From the Kansas City Star:

The force knocked out windows at least a half-block away and was felt nearly a mile away. Flames soared two-thirds higher than the building into the evening sky. Bricks and broken glass were strewn around, and nearby residents and office workers gathered outside and watched as the injured were carried away. The odor of gas remained in the air, causing apprehension about a possible additional explosion.

There were no initial reports of deaths, but officials brought cadaver dogs to the scene to explore the ruins.

Witnesses reported a strong odor of natural gas in the area, some for hours before the explosion occurred about 6 p.m., and some reported that workers were using backhoes just to the east of JJ’s before the explosion.

By all accounts, the natural gas explosion triggered a devastating inferno. NaturalGasWatch.org has compiled the most compelling footage, which you can view below.

From CNN:


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3 Comments to “Apocalyptic Natural Gas Explosion Levels Kansas City Restaurant”

  1. [...] Construction has not been halted while Chelsea considers what’s coming their way. With Con Ed already doing exploratory “test pits” along 10th Avenue, CB4 has now issued a letter to Con Edison, requesting reassurance of safety. Con Ed maintains the pipes are safe, despite prior reports of collapsing underground vaults in Chelsea, and numerous pipeline explosions in recent memory, such as in Kansas City. [...]

  2. [...] (OSHA) issued a plethora of citations to the drilling company involved in the February 2013 natural gas explosion that destroyed a restaurant in Kansas City, Missouri, killing one and severely injured three [...]

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