The Real Deal New York

East Village explosion now being investigated as homicide

Building owner and contractor could face criminal charges
April 06, 2015 04:35PM

The probe into the East Village explosion that killed two people and injured more than a dozen is likely to result in homicide charges, according to a high-ranking police official.

The source told the New York Daily News that detectives are looking into possible criminally negligent homicide charges on the part of building owner Maria Hrynenko and contractor Dilber Kukic, along with others, who are suspected of illegally tapping into a gas line that was only meant to serve the first floor of 121 Second Avenue in order to heat apartments on the upper floors.

“This is likely going to end up a homicide case,” the source told the newspaper. “The DA will probably bring it to the grand jury.” The possibility of criminal charges arose last week, but this is the first time that homicide charges have come up.

Two people who were in Sushi Park at the time of the explosion were killed in the blast. 

“No one’s going to be charged for doing sloppy work, but if it can be proved that someone was told to do this, then it’s a criminally negligent homicide,” the source said.

Hrynenko sent her son Michael and Kukic to investigate the source of the gas smell on the afternoon of March 26, the day of the explosion. Both were injured. [NYDN] — Tess Hofmann