According to the New York Times, a powerful explosion in Lower Manhattan on Thursday caused two buildings to collapse and ignited a large fire that quickly spread to neighboring buildings, leaving at least 19 people injured. At least one person was reported missing.
Mayor Bill de Blasio, during a news conference at the scene, said "preliminary evidence suggests a gas-related explosion" was caused by plumbing and gas work being done at 121 Second Avenue, near Seventh Street. The explosion and ensuing fire destroyed that building and led to the collapse of an adjacent building, 123 Second Avenue.
Mr. de Blasio said workers from the utility Consolidated Edison had been on the site about an hour before the explosion and had found the work being done there to be deficient. But he said there were no calls reporting gas leaks before the explosion.
Michael S. Clendenin, a Con Edison spokesman, said several buildings on Second Avenue had been "undergoing renovations" since as far back as August.
"Based on records here, the building has had some work done inside; new gas service pipes; a lot of things; piping and such," Mr. Clendenin said.
It remains to be seen who is ultimately responsible for this disaster. It reminds us of last year's building explosion. Lawsuits have been commenced to determine who was at fault for that explosion, including the death of five innocent lives.
If you have any legal questions about fires, fire damage, and resulting injuries, call us anytime.