Illegal Fireworks Operation Kills Kansas City Man

Six others in the home were hurt in the explosion.

June 11--A 52-year-old man has died from severe injuries sustained when when his south Kansas City house exploded last week, federal officials said Wednesday.

Wiley Mitchell Jr. died Tuesday after being hospitalized since the explosion last Wednesday evening 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



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