Yesterday evening was a tragic one in Kansas City after an explosion ripped through JJ's Restaurant at the Country Club Plaza shopping area. ABC News reports on the explosion of a "massive fireball" that officials say might have been caused when a utility worker hit a natural gas line. Indeed, Deidre Estes, a hostess at the restaurant, tells local news station KCTV that she and her colleagues were closing up early — right at happy hour — due to the gas odor when the restaurant exploded. As Estes explains, "They didn't make it sound like you need to get out this second, so we were kind of taking our time, putting things away, locking up the register and then, boom! And everything was black."
Estes also recounts the tale of her escape from the restaurant and says that one of her fellow hostesses remains unaccounted for. Officials confirm that one woman who works at the restaurant is still missing after the blast, and searchers have been using cadaver dogs to search through the rubble. Seven of those injured in the explosion remain hospitalized and more have been treated and released. JJ's Restaurant is seeing an outpouring of support on its Facebook wall after about 27 years in business. Here are the local reports:
Video: 2 Missing, a Dozen Injured as Restaurant Is Destroyed
Video: Restaurant hostess: 'I thought I was going to die'