Attorney: Photo proof of what went wrong at JJ’s Restaurant

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Underneath Kansas City's streets are miles of natural gas pipelines and thousands of shut-off valves.

After the JJ's Restaurant explosion on Feb. 19, questions were raised as to why it took Missouri Gas Energy three hours to turn off the gas -- when it should have taken was a simple turn of the valve.

An attorney believes several photos taken from the scene of that deadly accident could hold the answer.

"There was supposed to be easy access where they could go in and turn it off," said Grant Davis, an attorney representing employees of JJ's Restaurant.

But no one did.

Davis released photos exclusively to FOX 4 -- which he believes provide a clue as to why.

Photo 1

Photo 1

One photo (photo 1) shows an MGE line, near the restaurant, where the shut-off valve appears to have broken off. Another (photo 2) shows the broken valve and another photo (photo 3) shows a tool gas companies used to operate the valves -- one that Davis says would have proved useless since the valve appears to have broken off.

Photo 2

Photo 2

"The valve was no longer where it should be. It had popped out."

Rather than turning off the flow of gas by turning a valve, MGE brought in a backhoe from Raymore, Mo., to dig down and pinch off the line. Before that happened, however, JJ's exploded.

Photo 3

Photo 3

Davis also said MGE never turned off the gas service line going into JJ's.

The Missouri Public Service Commission said only MGE knows the number and location of all its shut-off valves.

FOX 4 attempted to contact MGE on how often they inspected the valves, but did not receive a response.

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