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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri utility regulators have launched an investigation into a gas explosion and fire that destroyed a Kansas City restaurant.

The Missouri Public Service Commission said Wednesday that five staff have been dispatched to the site of Tuesday evening's explosion at JJ's restaurant at the Country Club Plaza.

State investigators will be looking at whether gas lines were properly marked before a contractor started doing underground work in the area. They also will be looking at whether Missouri Gas Energy followed state rules in responding to a reported gas line leak before the explosion.

It could take up to six months before state regulators release a report on the incident. The Public Service Commission has the authority to make recommendations for changes and to seek fines in court.

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