Authorities have zeroed in on a gas leak as the cause for the massive explosion in East Harlem that levelled two buildings earlier last week. Over sixty residents were injured in the blast and rescue; recovery workers have recovered seven individuals who were killed in the explosive apartment complex accident and two individuals are still unaccounted for. Witnesses reported smelling the odor of natural gas at least fifteen minutes before the explosion. Reports show that a Con Ed team was nearby investigating a possible leak, when the buildings collapsed in a huge fireball.
Investigators on site shortly after the explosion detected dangerous abnormally high levels of gas mixed in the soil around the basements of the two collapsed building hours. This has led some to speculate that the leak was an ongoing issue that had just come to that attention of building residents just minutes prior to the blast. If the deadly leak is determined to have been caused by negligence or neglect, surviving individuals and the family members of the deceased could possibly file suit against the at fault party for pain and suffering and pecuniary damages.
While apartment complex accident lawsuits are common, the key to successfully pursuing them in court is determining liability. Some reports from various entities (including eye witnesses familiar with the area) are centering on a collapsed water main as a possible cause for the leak. City officials have stated that the visible sinkhole at the location was caused by a water main broken but an area resident told the Daily News that the sinkhole had been there for three or four years. This has led some to speculate that perhaps the broken water line had gone negligently unattended for a while.
If your or a loved one has been injured in a New York City apartment complex accident-even something as simple as slipping in a stairwell or on a staircase, call the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel for a free consultation at (800) 734-9338 or (212) 385-1122 to learn your rights. You may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, medical expenses and past and future lost wages.