A natural gas leak caused a massive explosion on Park Avenue and 116th Street in New York City today, March 12, 2014. The odor of gas was reported just minutes before the explosion. A ConEd truck was dispatched quickly after the call came in, but it did not arrive in time and two buildings were completely leveled from the blast. At least 2 people have been confirmed dead, several more people are missing at this time.
In addition to the extensive property damage, physical injuries and deaths, businesses in the area will be closed for several weeks, and families will be displaced from their homes. Should this horrible tragedy have been prevented? The answer is yes. Could this horrible tragedy have been prevented? The answer is yes. Should these dangerous conditions be tolerated within a crowded urban area? The answer is no.
Con Edison adds a distinctive and unpleasant chemical odor to otherwise odorless natural gas so that it can be immediately detected and alert people of the dangerous leak. Should you ever smell gas in your home or apartment, there are some safety precautions to keep in mind.
1. Do not turn on the lights or any electrical appliance;
2. Do not light a cigarette, candle, etc. Do not light a match or lighter.
3. Do not use your phone your home or apartment.
4. Alert as many people as you can and vacate the area quickly.
5. Immediately call 911 and report the gas leak, call ConEd or your local utility and notify them.
In the event of an explosion, there will be liability for any damages, including injury, death and destruction of property on the part of one or more entities. The gas company, the company that installed or repaired the appliance, which malfunctioned, and possibly the manufacturer, distributor or seller of that appliance, all may be liable for damages that flow from the explosion. It is imperative that you consult with a competent attorney immediately if you suffered an injury, a family member was killed, your property was damaged or you were displaced from your home or business. Our attorneys and staff are available 24/7 to assist you. 866-NYC-JUSTICE