On Thursday March 26, New York was shaken by a massive explosion that occurred in the East Village. The blast completely affected not only that building but also two other neighboring constructions. There were 22 victims reported. On Friday March 27, the mayor of New York announced that the most plausible cause behind the explosion was the inappropriate use of a gas line.
It seems that just a few minutes before the explosion, the owner of a sushi restaurant located at the building’s ground floor had called the landlord due to reports of gas leakage.
Because of the large amount of debris and all the ash resulted from the blast, officials could not promptly enter the site to investigate. Mayor De Blasio said that no speculations will be made until investigators fully examine the area.
According to the chief of detectives for the New York Police Department Robert Boyce two men, who were reportedly in the building before the accident, remain missing. They were identified as Nicholas Figueroa, 23, and Moises Lucan who is probably in his 20s.
Witnesses stated the two were in the Sushi Park restaurant around the time of the explosion. The police are now trying to determine their location. Figueroa was having lunch with a woman then proceeded to pay the bill before the explosion took place. The woman he was with is now being treated in a hospital close to that area.
The explosion injured 22 people, six of which were members of the New York Fire Department. Four of the victims were declared critically injured. Two of the severely injured are now treated in the Bellevue Hospital.
The initial cause that triggered the explosion was thought to be plumbing and gas reparations. But officials had no information regarding possible reparations being conducted in the building at the time of the explosion.
It seems gas inspectors had just finished examinations 30 minutes before the blast. But just 15 minutes after they had left, the owner of the sushi restaurant called the building’s landlord to tell him he smelled gas. So the most probable explanation is that someone was using a gas line without authorization.
Image Source: DNA Info