NTSB confirms gas main leak caused explosion that leveled NYC apartments

Windsor Genova – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

New York, NY, United States (4E) – The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has found that a gas main leak caused the explosion that leveled two apartment buildings in Manhattan and killed eight residents last week.

A report of NTSB investigators released Tuesday said pressure test of an 8-inch cast iron and plastic main that supplied the two collapsed buildings on Park Avenue indicated that the pipe was defective.

“Tracer gas pumped into the main and a leak survey identified a leak adjacent to 1646 Park Avenue, one of the collapsed buildings,” the report said, according to The New York Post.

The findings confirm earlier suspicions that leaked gas caused the explosion that also injured 70 people. Some 15 minutes before the explosion, a neighbor reported smelling gas. Con Edison dispatched crews to the area in response but they arrived after the explosion.

Two segments of a service line that fed gas from the main to the buildings were also taken for lab-testing, the NTSB said.

Meanwhile, the city medical examiner revealed Monday that the fatalities were either burned or crushed to death. Police identified the fatalities as Japanese tourist Mayumi Nakamura, 34; Rosaura Barrios-Vasquez, 44, and her daughter Rosaura Hernandez, 21; Carmen Tanco, 67; Andreas Panagopoulos, 43; Giselde Camacho, 44; Alexis (Jordy) Salas, 22; and George Amadeo, 44.

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