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Kansas City explosion investigation continues

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Updated: 2/20/2013 4:15 pm
(NBC News) The investigation continues into what caused a massive gas explosion in downtown Kansas City.

The blast destroyed several buildings, including a popular restaurant.

At least one person died, and dozens of others were injured while one person remains missing.

The charred, flattened remains of nearly an entire city block show just how powerful the explosion was, and how deadly.

"We have recovered a body at the scene. We cannot provide positive identification at this point," said Kansas City Missouri Mayor Sly James.

Rescuers used cadaver dogs to search the burned out rubble for any unaccounted victims of the blast in which more than a dozen other people were injured.

Several remain hospitalized in serious condition.

A nearby surveillance camera caught the moment of the explosion and from the air the flames could be seen for miles.

Before the blast, utility crews, already working in the area, alerted the fire department to evacuate nearby businesses and residences, but not everyone was able to get out in time.

Officials say they are still looking for a missing woman who worked at JJ's, the landmark restaurant at center of the blast, but could not confirm the remains found this morning were those of the missing worker.

"No positive identification has been made, not even to the gender of who has been found," said Kansas City Fire Department Chief Paul Berardi.

Now, the investigation into what caused the explosion and who is responsible is underway after all possible victims are identified.

"The main thing we've been focused on is people. Taking care of people, we'll get to the money phase, we'll get to the blame phase later," said Mayor James.

--Frances Kuo, NBC News


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