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Update: East Village Building Explosion

It is being reported by the NY Post that illegal work was being performed on gas lines in the East Village building and that it was this illegal work that sparked the tragic and massive explosion.

Apparently, authorities believe that contractors were at the building, weeks prior to the explosion, trying to upgrade the building's gas service system. It appears that instead of shutting the gas off while doing this work, the contractors left the gas service system operable. This apparently was a dangerous thing to do. Then, the it is being reported that the contractors learned of a Con Ed inspection, so the contractors shut off the gas. Once the inspection was over, the contractors restored the gas and the explosion ensued shortly thereafter.

As of now, 22 people were 0injured, four critically. The 18 with less-serious injuries includes six firefighters.

Two deaths have been confirmed.

The Post has reported that "sources" said several city agencies were investigating Bronx contractor Dilber Kukic, owner of Neighborhood Construction Corp., who got a permit last year to do plumbing and other renovations at 121 Second Ave.

Whether Mr. Kukic was actually at the scene or is anyway responsible for this strategy has not been demonstrated and remains complete speculation right now. It would be nice if the Post actually gave some solid proof of why Kukic is being suspected other than that his name was on a prior permit.

The Post also said that authorities are also eyeing the possible role of plumber Jerry Ioannidis, who may have been working at the scene. Again, the Post offers no details, let alone any proof, that Mr. Ioannidis had anything to do with this tragedy.

If it proves true that these persons were responsible for the explosion by way of doing some kind of unnauthorized plumbing at the building, and they knew or should have known what they were doing was dangerous, they could potentially be facing criminal charges, including manslaughter charges.  Of course, they will be facing multiple civil claims for pain and suffering as well.  

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