The NYPD arrested five people including general contractor Dilber Kukic this morning for their alleged roles in the deadly explosion that rocked the East Village last March.
The building’s owner, Maria Hrynenko, was also arrested, as were a group of plumbers who worked at the 8,500-square-foot 121 Second Avenue, the New York Daily News reported, citing sources familiar with the arrests.
The exact charges that prosecutors plan to level against the five are unknown at this time. An official announcement is expected later today.
Two people – Nicholas Figueroa and Moises Locon – were killed when an illegally-installed gas line in the building’s basement exploded. An additional 25 people were injured.
Kukic was inside the building when the explosion occurred. He managed to escape unharmed, dragging Hyrenko’s son out with him.
The Bronx-based contractor pleaded guilty in December to paying $600 to an undercover investigator in 2014 in an attempt to dismiss building violations at two of his properties on West 173rd Street.
He was sentenced to three years of probation and 200 hours of community service in that case, and was required to pay a $4,000 fine. [NYDN] – Ariel Stulberg