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February 19th, 2013 06:57 PM
Huge explosion at long time Kansas City restaurant
People on twitter are saying JJ's is completely obliterated
February 19th, 2013 07:00 PM
His Royal Highness the Honorable King of LandThieves Esq. III
Drone strike....or Ryder truck bomb.
February 19th, 2013 07:03 PM
February 19th, 2013 07:05 PM
February 19th, 2013 07:07 PM
JJ's on the Plaza. Meh. It was okay.
Looks like nothing much left.
February 19th, 2013 07:17 PM
Just talked to a friend of mine that works down there and she says the smell of gas is still choking them.
February 19th, 2013 07:18 PM
Reading on twitter that the place may have been evacuated prior to the explosion. Better hope that's true.
February 19th, 2013 07:20 PM
They're saying there were people running out of it. Not sure when this happened but they have a popular happy hour.
I can't understand why they'd still be having a gas fire. Shouldn't someone had turned it off by now? There's a backhoe out front so they're speculating as to whether that may have had something to do with it.
February 19th, 2013 07:24 PM
Car crashed into a gas main. Terrorism is not believed to be a factor.
People on scene immediately saying the only fire was what appears to be the gas fed flame that is still burning.
February 19th, 2013 07:25 PM
Tell them to light a match.
February 19th, 2013 07:29 PM
KCPD was the one saying that it was the car crash. News reporters are saying that from a couple blocks away you can still hear the gas hissing. Not a gas guy but they are saying that that indicates something else. Apparently there's still a danger for another explosion. There's a couple other places down there i wouldn't mind seeing burn down.
February 19th, 2013 07:50 PM
Sounds as if a lot of people may not be able to get back in their places tonight. Might have to cruise on down there and put on my Good Samaritan hat...
The fire marshal is going door to door and evacuating every restaurant.
February 19th, 2013 07:53 PM
Brother of JJ's owner tells @KCTV5 4 employees critically injured. 1 employee unaccounted for. Wall in kitchen collapsed after explosion....
February 19th, 2013 07:55 PM
February 19th, 2013 08:01 PM
Mayor is on TV doing the only thing he seems to be able to do - yapping on camera.
February 19th, 2013 10:05 PM
News just reported that there are still 3 unaccounted for.
February 19th, 2013 10:23 PM
All the local news coverage ****ed up my DVR.
February 20th, 2013 10:39 AM
I am going with drone, the gas line thing is a cover up
February 20th, 2013 01:14 PM
Some incredible photos here. The place is literally gone. It looks exactly like a bomb detonated.
Also, there is now one person confirmed dead:
February 20th, 2013 01:21 PM
Place just needs a new coat of paint and she'll be as good as new..
February 20th, 2013 01:26 PM
Queue the lawsuits...
‘I was just 15 minutes from dead,’ witness says
By STEVE KRASKE, ERIC ADLER and JUDY THOMAS
The Kansas City Star
Joe Whisler detected the odor even before he got to JJ’s Tuesday afternoon.
“I could smell gas from my car when I got to 48th and Belleview,” said Whisler of Westwood, who was meeting friends for a drink after work.
“It was overpowering.”
As he walked to the restaurant, Whisler said, he noticed a pipe in the ground at the alley on the east side of JJ’s that appeared to be leaking gas.
“I could hear a hiss of gas and smell it wafting up,” he said.
He met his friends inside and had a glass of wine. About 5:20 p.m., Whisler said, Kansas City firefighters entered the restaurant and told the owners to turn off their ovens and grills and open the doors to the outside. They did as they were told, Whisler said, with employees “covering their faces because of the odor.”
“I said to the lead fire guy, ‘Shouldn’t we evacuate here?’ ” Whisler said. “They told me no, that they had called the gas company. I saw three Missouri Gas Energy workers walking around outside.”
But the odor proved too strong for Whisler, and he left JJ’s about 5:30 p.m.
“The smell inside was so bad I couldn’t stand it,” he said. “It was unbearable.”
Whisler noticed the same pipe leaking gas in the alley when he left the restaurant. He said about 15 customers were in the bar and some were in the dining room when he left.
Whisler’s friend Matt Nichols, who is JJ’s general manager, was one of those still inside. Whisler worried Tuesday night about Nichols and other friends who remained in the restaurant.
“Most of the staff are my friends,” he said.
Whisler was still trying Tuesday night to get a grip on what had happened.
“I’m OK, but I was just 15 minutes from dead,” he said.
****la Brockman sensed something was wrong as she stood in an underground parking garage a few minutes before 5 p.m. The smell of gas was overwhelming.
“It was so apparent,” said Brockman, executive director of the Menorah Legacy Foundation, whose building at 4739 Belleview Ave. abuts JJ’s from the north. “So bad. You have no idea. It is that smell, you know, times 10. That smell on steroids. I knew I was going to pass out.”
Brockman said she went back into her building, told her co-worker to evacuate and alerted Steve Rothstein, who owns the building as well as the apartment complex at 4732 and 4734 Belleview directly west and across the street from JJ’s.
As Brockman left the building, she saw workers who had been drilling in the street near the alley just steps from of JJ’s entrance.
“I said, ‘You hit a gas line, didn’t you?’” she recalled. “They said, ‘Yeah, we did.’ “I knew something bad was going to happen.”
Rothstein said that after Brockman alerted him, he also went to the parking garage, smelled gas and spoke to a worker.
“He said, ‘We had a break in the gas line,’ ” Rothstein said. “I asked, ‘Have you capped it?’ He said no. I said, ‘Are we safe?’ He said, ‘Yes, we’re safe.’ ”
Rothstein said he returned to his third-floor office. Shortly after that he heard and felt a tremendous explosion.
“I looked outside,” Rothstein said. “The whole roof of JJ’s had caved in.”
And the fire came soon after.
February 20th, 2013 01:46 PM
That was one hell of an explosion.