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Bunker reopens after fatal crash in Westport building

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Posted at 6:51 PM, Dec 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-17 19:59:37-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Bunker, a clothing store in Kansas City, Missouri’s Westport entertainment district reopened Friday.

The popular store at the corner of Westport Road and Broadway Boulevard was closed Thursday as engineers from the city evaluated the building’s structural integrity following a crash in the northern section of the building.

A Kansas City police sergeant said Wednesday night a fire truck with its lights and sirens activated collided with a SUV. Both vehicles crashed into the building at 4050 Broadway Boulevard. The vehicles struck a woman walking on the sidewalk at the time of the crash. The walker and both people inside the SUV died. Police have not publicly identified the victims, though family identified the passenger in the SUV as Michael Elwood, 25.

No firefighters were hurt in the collision.

“The whole situation is really tragic and really sad for everyone involved,” Drew Barr, general manager of Bunker, said.

He said the tight-knit Westport business community has been closely watching any developments in the situation. Late Thursday, the city’s Dangerous Buildings Division gave Bunker approval to reopen.

“We’re grateful to the team of engineers who came out and did all the inspections and reports, everyone was able to work fast and get us back open,” Barr said. “We don’t want to diminish what happened, but we’re very thankful to be here.”

City engineers continue to complete the final evaluation on the portion of the building more directly impacted by the crash. Friday, gas company Spire disconnected service to that part of the building as a safety precaution.

Crews also worked to clean debris from the area. One lane of southbound traffic on Broadway Boulevard remains blocked off.