Recently, a building in New York’s East Village exploded, killing two and injuring dozens. Although investigations are still ongoing, authorities suspect that the cause of the accident resulted from an improperly tapped gas line. The proper gas and plumbing permits were not obtained for work to be done on that building, nor is it clear who was working on the gas lines at the time of the accident. However, Con Edison had been inspecting the building an hour prior to the explosion and found that the meter service was not ready for gas hook up. The general contractor who had been working on the building at the time of the explosion had recently been charged by the Manhattan DA’s office with attempting to bribe a Building Inspector for violations on other properties he owned. In addition to the tragic deaths and injuries caused by the explosion, three buildings were reduced to rubble and 140 apartments were vacated due to safety concerns.
Just a year ago- almost to the day of the East Village explosion- a building in East Harlem was also destroyed in a gas explosion, killing eight and injuring dozens more.
Gas work requires special permits and skill. Following the East Harlem explosion, two New York City Council Members proposed strengthening the certification requirements for those doing plumbing and gas work. The proposed legislation requires 200 hours of training under a master plumber, or the educational equivalent, in addition to passing a written test. There would also be additional safety standards imposed.
If you have experienced a catastrophe as a result of someone else’s negligence, and you or a loved one has been injured, it is important to know your legal rights. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney who will help get you the compensation you deserve. Call Sakkas, Cahn & Weiss LLP at (212)571-7171.