In March of 2015 residents of New York City’s East Village experienced a devastating gas explosion that leveled three buildings and took the lives of two innocent people. Now almost a year later, five individuals are facing criminal charges in connection with the accident that brought the New York City neighborhood to a halt.
The two owners of the building where the explosion occurred, along with the plumber and contractor working on the gas line, face multiple charges–the most serious of which are manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide. The Manhattan district attorney stated that the illegal gas system which caused the explosion was, “foreseeable, preventable and completely avoidable.”
Just eight months before the gas explosion, the building owners decided to illegally siphon gas from a Japanese restaurant on the ground floor to apartments in the five story building, in an effort to allegedly save money. This set off a chain of events which eventually led to the plumber and contractor attempting to fix the illegal setup, causing gas to flow into the restaurant. The resulting explosion triggered a seven-alarm building fire which took two days to extinguish and three building collapses.
The fifth person implicated is a master plumber who is charged with renting his license to the plumber who worked on the property in order to get the necessary work papers approved. A judge recently ruled this same plumber had several violations at other jobs across the city, which could have put the public in danger.
As seen with this tragic incident, tampering with gas lines can cause serious consequences. Natural and propane gas lines need to be handled carefully and properly maintained. Negligence at any level could lead to devastating results. If you or your family has been injured in a gas explosion please contact the knowledgeable and skilled attorneys at Finz & Finz, P.C., to stand up to those who put the lives of the people you love at risk.