Body found after massive explosion, fire at Kansas City restaurant; 14 others injured - 7 critically

Video shows moment KC restaurant exploded

KANSAS CITY, Missouri - The mayor of Kansas City said a body was found in the rubble of a restaurant destroyed Tuesday by an explosion and fire. One person, an employee of the restaurant, was previously reported missing.

14 other people were injured in the explosion -- seven critically -- including one MGE worker and a JJ's Restaurant employee. Two other people who had been reported missing were later found.

A contractor doing underground work struck a natural gas line,but Missouri Gas Energy said the backhoe was not the source of the ignition.  MGE said the ignition point appeared to have come from within the restaurant..

Searchers used cadaver dogs to search the rubble overnight and are waiting for heavy equipment to remove heavy pieces so they can continue to search.

Missouri Gas Energy said in a statement that the investigation into what caused the explosion and fire that leveled JJ's Restaurant is still under investigation.

The five-alarm began with heavy smoke and flames engulfing JJ's just after 6 p.m.

Earlier, Kansas City police had said the blast was caused by a car crashing into a gas main. But fire officials said later they were not aware of a crash being involved in the blast.

One witness reported seeing large flames that originated near a backhoe working close to the restaurant, reported 41 Action News, 7NEWS's sister station in Kansas City.

Other witnesses noted street signs in the area indicated utility work was being done in the area, and a JJ's employee said the facility was being renovated at the time.

Surveillance video from 41 Action News shows the actual explosion, which appeared to have occurred in the back of JJ's.

The fire raged more more than 90 minutes.

A woman who lives on the same block of JJ's told 41 Action News she smelled smoke about 15 minutes before the fire broke out.

41 Action News reports patients are being taken to KU Medical Center, Truman Medical Center, Research Medical Center and St. Luke's on the Plaza.

41 Action News Images from the scene:

The shopping area was established in 1922 by J.C. Nichols. Based on the architecture of Seville, Spain, it includes retail, restaurants, apartments and offices.

Surveillance video of the explosion:

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