Private Inspectors and Investigators Swarm JJ’S Blast Site
March 14, 2013

About 60 natural gas explosion experts, investigators and lawyers who may be involved with legal action are pouring over the debris at the site of JJ’s restaurant in Kansas City. It is the first close inspection of the area for many of them.
One woman died and several were injured when the restaurant was destroyed in an explosion Feb. 19.
A Kansas City Fire Department report says the JJ’S blast and fire was caused an acculturation of gas vapors in the restaurant after an underground gas leak was reported. The blast happened about an hour after the report.
The mass investigation was arranged by the by several parties with potential claims in the case.
It is believed attorneys representing the restaurant owners and Missouri Gas Energy have arranged for about three days of close inspection of the scene. In the crowd of inspectors was former Kansas City Fire Chief Smokey Dyer. He said he was working for an unidentified law firm.
Represenatuves from the. Misssouri Public Service Commission and the federal Occupational Health and Safety Administration are also present.
The crowd of investigators were warned not to move or remove anything they discovered. Many inspected the remaining debris inside of the restaurant.
A coordinator on the scene says after this extended inspection, debris from the blast will start to be removed.

Heartland Midwest Shows City Permits 13 Days Before JJ’s Blast
February 27, 2013

KMBC TV has obtained documents showing Heartland Midwest, the company that Missouri Gas Energy says struck a gas line near JJ’s restaurant, applied for a Kansas City, Missouri excavation permit on February 6,2013.
Heartland Midwest also applied for A traffic control permit in February 13, six days before the blast.
An attorney for the company Brad Russell, says the existence of the documents proves the company had the permits required to do underground work in the area in February 19. That evening at 6:04 pm JJ’s Restaurant was destroyed in an explosion. One person died, more than a dozen people were injured.
9-1-1 records indicate a man from “utility contracting company”, called emergency officials at 4:54 pm that day report the crew has “hit a line”. It’s believed that was an employee of Heartland Midwest.
The restaurant exploded a little more than an hour later after several reports if the smell of gas in the area.
Gas company officials were on the scene trying to shut down the gas line when the blast took place.
The documents obtained by Ch 9 both show the papers were received at City Hall the same day they were submitted by a fax machine belonging to Heartland Midwest.
Russell said the company has remained silent until this point as it took care of its employees injured in the blast and its inability to get to the work scene.
The scene gas not been fenced off as the investigation into what caused the leak and explosion proceeds.
City Haal still regards Heartland Permit application as unapproved.
It appears, however, the questions over the permit continue.
The City says they never received paperwork from Heartland Midwest requesting the permits.
Wednesday. City Hall I-T workers checked the logs of the fax machine.
They discovered the log confirms the documents were received the days they were sent.
Some sort if malfunction with the machine prevented either document from being printed by the fax machine.
Russell confirms Heartland Midwest resubmitted the documents to the City on Feb 20. That is the day after the blast.
Russell said they did that in an effort to help the city locate the paperwork.
Assistant City Manager Pat Klein says it is likely Heartland Midwest’s permit requests would have been approved. The City has never denied requests like this from the company in the past.Russell says when Heartland Midwest heard nothing back from the city, and they had received a fax transmission confirming the requests were rechecked, the company assumed the permits had been approved.

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