It's believed the explosion occurred from apartment 2P's gas stove; 2P resident Edgar Zaldumbide is in a medically induced coma with burns over 75% of his skin, while his 23-month-old daughter was also burned. However, the building's super told the Post that 2P's stove "had not been hooked up to the feeder line."
The building had been without gas since a June fire, and gas was being restored to the units over the past few days. City Councilman John Liu said, "Con Ed had just left less than an hour before they told the residents that they could go ahead and turn the gas back on, which one person did, and then this explosion rips through the building. For weeks the supposed repairs and maintenance were taking place, and yet the residents went for a long time without basic necessities of living." Fifteen other people were injured, and many tenants' homes were destroyed.
Con Ed and the building say they did everything correctly, and the Daily News' Michael Daly spoke to the building's manager about returning gas to the building. Last fall, a woman died in a gas main explosion, even after Con Ed and the FDNY had been called to inspect smells of gas in the neighborhood.