The deadly explosion and apartment fire in New York in early April that left two dead and nearly 20 people injured was likely the result of an illegal gas line tap. The midday blast caused a fiery inferno that caused a significant portion of the east village apartment building to collapse. The injured were pulled from the rubble by emergency workers. The two deceased individuals were recovered after the fire had already been extinguished. Both were inside the first-floor sushi restaurant. One was a young man on a date, the other was a busboy employed by the establishment.
Eyewitnesses as far away as a block report hearing a “huge boom.” From the beginning investigators speculated that a gas leak was the likely cause. In fact, Con Edison investigators were sifting through the ashes at the time the shocking event turned the case on its head. A local plumber admitted to police that he had hooked up an illegal gas line at the request of the building landlord’s son, Michael Hrnynenko.
Hrnynenko was one of the injured individuals pulled from the wreckage. If he survives his injuries, he may be charged with manslaughter in the deaths of the two individuals. However, their family members and the surviving victims of the New York City apartment fire have strong cases for civil lawsuits as well.
They could bring action against the landlord, the landlord’s son (who was allegedly and employee of the landlord) and the plumber who performed the illegal work. These individuals could be found liable for hospital, medical and funeral expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.
If you’ve been injured in an apartment building due to improper maintenance or repair, or if you’ve lost a loved one to a fire, building collapse, or explosion that you think was caused by someone’s negligence, contact a New York City apartment fire attorney immediately. Call the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel for a free consultation at 646-736-2777 or 212-385-1122 to learn your rights.