• Questions Linger About Gas Company's Evacuation At JJ's


    As several investigations continue into the explosion of JJís Restaurant, the role Missouri Gas Energy played in its response to the emergency is being questioned by experts and a witness who say the utility didnít follow industry standards or its own advice.

    Although its own safety instructions for gas leaks to its customers call for evacuating the premises immediately, MGE didnít do that at the Feb. 19 incident. In fact, the MGE workers on the scene didnít suggest that people leave the popular wine bar until 51 minutes after the initial 911 call.
    ďI will swear on 10 stacks of Bibles Ė not one, but 10 Ė that there was no evacuation order given when I was there,Ē Ebbitts said.
    A patron inside JJís that day, Mark Ebbitts, president of Shelton Travel Service, across the street from JJís at 48th and Belleview, said there was never an evacuation order given by an MGE representative.

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