Gas vapors accidentally accumulated and ignited, spurring Kansas City blast

Posted at 8:49 AM, Mar 14, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-14 08:49:46-04

By CNN Staff

(CNN) — A fatal explosion last month in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, was caused by the accidental ignition of natural gas vapors that accumulated inside a popular restaurant, according to a report from a joint city-federal task force issued Wednesday.

After being asked by firefighters, the manager at JJ’s Restaurant said the establishment’s workers did not turn off the pilot lights for the restaurant’s stove or hot water heater, said the report from the Kansas City fire and police departments as well as the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

An employee for a contractor laying cable hit a 2-inch gas line with an underground boring machine late on the afternoon of February 19. The explosion occurred about an hour later, killing one person and injuring at least 15 others.

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