Last month it would have been difficult for anyone in the Kansas City area to avoid coverage of the explosion that tore through a downtown restaurant, taking the life of one person and injuring a total of 15 others. The explosion, which occurred at JJ’s Restaurant, located in shopping area County Club Plaza, led to a big fire and confusion as fire fighters worked to find victims and put the flames out.

The explosion was allegedly due a gas line that was cut. The cut was a result of work that an excavation company was doing near the restaurant. As workers from Heartland Midwest Co dug a hole, machinery apparently hit a two-inch gas line. According to Missouri One Call, the excavators should have been aware of the presence of the gas line. This is because the excavating company contacted Missouri One Call before it commenced digging and the placement of the gas line was marked.

After the excavating company severed the gas line, the smell of gas was present and an evacuation of the area was commenced. This effort was aided by firefighters and workers from Missouri Gas. Most of the occupants of JJ’s left the premises at this time. It is not clear why those who were caught up in the blast were still there.

Days after the incident occurred, it has come to light that at the time of the accident the excavation company did not have permission to dig in the area. It did not apply for the needed permit until the day following the tragic incident. The failure to obtain the proper permit in a timely manner could lead to serious consequences including a fine and jail time.

In addition to those consequences, it is almost certain that civil personal injury lawsuits will be filed in the matter, to recoup for the injuries and death that occurred.

Source: Reuters, “Company linked to fatal Kansas City blast did not have required permit,” Kevin Murphy, Feb. 25, 2013