Since a fatal explosion among two New York City apartments occurred this week, the focus has appropriately been on the victims and continued search for more possible victims. Authorities were hoping to have finished the search of the rubble by today.
Beyond finding and identifying the victims who either died or were injured in the explosion, it is important for investigators to identify how and why the gas explosion occurred. Did a dangerous gas leak go unnoticed due to negligence? Did a dangerous gas leak go unfixed because of a negligent property owner or gas line inspector?
So far, the facts according to Reuters are that eight people died in the Harlem gas explosion. Two apartment buildings were completely destroyed and brought down to rubble because of the magnitude of the blast. The rubble, eight deaths and several injured victims represent the damage that can be done when gas lines are not properly maintained or monitored.
As this New York accident proves, explosion injuries can be so severe that they are fatal. Those who don't die in the explosion can suffer injuries such as burns that can be painful and life-changing. The extent of the victims' injuries following the recent blast are not currently disclosed.
To prevent similar incidents like this from happening again in New York, the victims, their families and the community overall need to pull together and demand action. They all deserve answers about why this happened. They all deserve a community and home where they can feel safe from preventable explosions and fires.
We will post an update when there is a development in this story.
Source: Reuters, "UPDATE 1-Searchers sift rubble in aftermath of NY building collapse," Edith Honan, March 14, 2014