Crime

Man dies of injuries suffered in south Kansas City home explosion

A Kansas City Police Dept. bomb and arson investigator (left) and one from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms looked Friday morning for the cause of a Wednesday night's explosion and fire at a home in the 9100 block of Tennessee Avenue in southeast Kansas City. Part of the home was demolished Friday so the investigators could safely do their work.
A Kansas City Police Dept. bomb and arson investigator (left) and one from the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms looked Friday morning for the cause of a Wednesday night's explosion and fire at a home in the 9100 block of Tennessee Avenue in southeast Kansas City. Part of the home was demolished Friday so the investigators could safely do their work. The Kansas City Star

A 52-year-old man has died from severe injuries suffered when his south Kansas City house exploded last week, federal officials said Wednesday.

Wiley Mitchell Jr. died Tuesday after being hospitalized since the explosion the evening of June 4 in the 9100 block of Tennessee Avenue.

Someone inside the home was making fireworks illegally, based on preliminary investigation findings, said John Ham, a spokesman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which is overseeing the investigation.

The explosion knocked the house from its foundation and injured six people. Mitchell was one of two adults who were critically injured and reportedly lost limbs. Two women and two children also were injured.

A team of federal and police investigators has completed collecting evidence from the residence. That material will be sent to a forensic laboratory for testing, Ham said.

Because the probe is a criminal investigation, Ham said he could not provide specifics on what was recovered or the type of fireworks being made. Once the investigation is complete, the case will be turned over to federal prosecutors, who will determine whether to file criminal charges, he said.

To reach Glenn E. Rice, call 816-234-4341 or send email to grice@kcstar.com.

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