Missouri Family: KC Blast Victim Likely Their Daughter

1:16 PM, Feb 21, 2013   |    comments
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - The mother of a woman who remained missing a day after a Kansas City restaurant was destroyed by a natural gas explosion says the family is awaiting confirmation that a body found in the rubble is that of her daughter.

Genny Cramer says Fire Department officials told her dental records were being used to determine if Megan Cramer's body was the one found Wednesday in the building where she had worked as a server. Cramer says her family is certain their daughter died in the blast.

Genny Cramer says she talked to her daughter on the phone Tuesday while Megan Cramer was getting ready for work. She called her daughter a special person who wrote poetry and helped establish the first lesbian/gay student group at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

One man says there'd been an odor of gas -- but "not strong" -- near JJ's restaurant in Kansas City for the past couple of weeks. And then, the odor got stronger yesterday.

Jeff Rogers was waiting at a bus stop down the street from the restaurant yesterday evening when an explosion knocked him to the ground. The explosion and a fire destroyed the restaurant, killing at least one person and injuring 15 others.

Hours before the explosion, witnesses reported a strong smell of gas. Firefighters were summoned to the scene at one point, but left without ordering an evacuation.

A doctor who works at a medical practice next to the restaurant told The Kansas City Star that a gas company employee entered the building just before 6 p.m. and recommended evacuating. The blast happened around 6, when the dinner crowd would have been filing into JJ's and the many other restaurants in the upscale shopping and dining district at Country Club Plaza.

It's not clear how hard firefighters or utility officials worked to evacuate the restaurant after gas was first noticed. The fire chief said the department deferred to the gas company because it would be better able to determine how serious the situation was.

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