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Three killed and Riot Room destroyed after firetruck collides with SUV in Westport

A firefighter walks past the partially collapsed building that used to house the Riot Room in Westport on Thursday morning.
Carlos Moreno
KCUR 89.3
A firefighter walks past the partially collapsed building that used to house the Riot Room in Westport on Thursday morning.

The building that housed the former Riot Room venue in the Westport entertainment district has mostly collapsed following a collision Wednesday night between a fire truck and a Honda SUV. One pedestrian and two passengers died.

Three people were killed Wednesday night when a Kansas City firetruck responding to an emergency call collided with a Honda SUV, collapsing a block of buildings in Westport.

According to Kansas City Police, a Kansas City Fire Department pumper truck was headed northbound on Broadway around 10:30 p.m., and hit a Honda SUV going westbound at the intersection near 40th Street.

Both of the vehicles then slid toward the northwest and crossed the sidewalk, striking a pedestrian and crashing into the recently closed Riot Room at 4048 Broadway.

The adult female driver of the Honda SUV died at the scene. Her passenger, an adult male, also died, but it's not clear when. Police say a female pedestrian was buried under the rubble and had to be recovered some time later.

None of the victims' identities has been released yet.

Members of the Kansas City Fire Department, who were reportedly responding to a fire at the time of the collision, were not injured.

Traffic on Broadway was closed at the intersection of 40th and Westport Road early Thursday morning after authorities determined the building was unstable. Debris from the building remained strewn on Broadway and on the sidewalk, blocking some vehicular traffic and pedestrian traffic on the west side of the street.

An update from Kansas City Police states the department ofDangerous Buildings and Demolitionswill be assessing the damage at the two-story structure. It could take six weeks or longer to complete that investigation.

The clothing store The Bunker also announced Thursday they would be closed until further notice. The retailer is in the same building as The Riot Room, but the store itself does not appear to be damaged. Kitchens by Kleweno, which occupies a building next to the damage, says they’re closed to walk-ins but not to employees.

The Riot Room, located at 4048 Broadway, closed in October due to pandemic-related financial difficulties. The popular live music venue had been open since 2008.

As KCUR’s general assignment reporter and visual journalist, I bring our audience inside the daily stories that matter most to the people of the Kansas City metro, showing how and why events affect residents. Through my photography, I seek to ensure our diverse community sees itself represented in our coverage. Email me at carlos@kcur.org.
Bek Shackelford-Nwanganga reports on health disparities in access and health outcomes in both rural and urban areas.
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