ConEdison, city share blame for East Harlem explosion: report

National Transportation Safety Board finished its investigation into the blast
June 10, 2015 04:30PM

A faulty connection between two ConEdison gas pipes and a hole in a nearby sewer main are mostly to be blamed for last year’s fatal gas explosion in East Harlem that killed eight and injured 50.

The blast and subsequent fire destroyed two five-story apartment buildings at 1644 and 1646 Park Avenue, the New York Times reported.

The National Transportation Safety Board released its investigation Tuesday.

“These factors aligned to create the accident, but there were others,” Christopher Hart, chair of the safety board, told the newspaper. Other contributing factors include the failure of neighborhood residents to report the smell of gas odor and Con Edison’s failure to notify the Fire Department after the company was alerted.

ConEdison sued the city last week, claiming it was the administration’s role to maintain sewer and water mains close to the company’s gas pipes, according to the newspaper.

The explosion took place in March 2014 and destroyed multiple buildings. It also closed down the nearby Metro-North commuter line station. Hundreds of lawsuits were filed against the city following the blast. [NYT] — Claire Moses