NTSB: Con Edison to blame for East Harlem explosion – Metro US

NTSB: Con Edison to blame for East Harlem explosion

NTSB: Con Edison to blame for East Harlem explosion
Metro file

The National Transportation Safety Board issued a final report Tuesday on the East Harlem explosion, finding that Con Edison’s faulty connection between two plastic gas pipes was to blame for the March 2014 explosion that killed eight, leveled two buildings and injured dozens.

The NTSB concluded that Con Ed’simproper connection, installed in 2011 by an uncertified worker,led to the natural gas leak and explosion. The federal regulators also said the New York City Department of Environmental Protection failed to repair a hole in a sewer main in front of one of the buildings for eight years.

Both the city and ConEdison, who have blaming each other since the explosion, reacted to the report with more fingerpointing.

“The finding that damage to a sewer may have also played a role appears unsupported by the facts,” the city said in a statement sent out on Tuesday.

“The facts revealed that damage to the sewer and the road depression above it were localized events which had no causal connection to the failure of Con Ed’s gas service connection or the rupture in the City’s water main. The rupture in the City’s water main occurred as a result of the explosion, not due to the damaged sewer.”

Con Ed played down its role by saying that NTSB investigators weren’t unanimous in their findings.

“To be clear, not all of the participants involved in this investigation reached the same conclusion concerning the sequence of infrastructure failures that led to the explosion,” Con Ed said in a statement. “We all agree, however, on the importance of doing everything in our control to prevent a tragedy like this from happening again.”

Con Edison recently filed a suit against the city, with details made public on Monday, alleging the city knew about the damaged infrastructure under Park Avenue for years.

In late April, Con Ed and the city were sued by 15 people who suffered injuries. The suit, filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, sought unspecified damages.

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