Connect with us

World

Phuket Gazette World News: New York gas explosion kills 7, demolishes building

Legacy Phuket Gazette

Published

 on 

image
image

PHUKET: Federal safety authorities launched an investigation on Thursday into a gas explosion that caused the collapse a day earlier of two New York City apartment buildings, killing seven people and injuring dozens of others.

The still-smouldering rubble prevented investigators from getting close enough to examine the main pipe that supplies natural gas to the Upper East Side neighbourhood, said Robert Sumwalt, a member of the National Transportation Safety Board, which reviews accidents involving natural gas.

When firefighters say the area is safe, he said, investigators will conduct a pressure test on the pipe to find the location of the leak that may have caused the blast.

“We are operating under the assumption at this point that it is a natural gas leak that led to an explosion,” Sumwalt said.

The explosion at about 9:30 a.m. (13:30 GMT) on Wednesday shook the East Harlem neighbourhood shortly after a resident complained to the Con Edison utility about a gas odour.

Sumwalt said the scene was “in one word, devastating.”

“You’ve got basically two five-story buildings that have been reduced to essentially a three-story pile of bricks and twisted metal,” he said. “The smell of smoke is omnipresent.”

Four women and three men were killed, but only four victims’ identities have been released so far.

They are Griselde Camacho, 44, a public safety officer for Hunter College in East Harlem; Carmen Tanco, 67, a dental hygienist; Rosaura Hernandez, 21, and Andreas Panagopoulos, 43.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said 40 people were injured. He declined at an earlier news conference to say how many remain unaccounted for, although New York City police earlier said five people are still missing.

At least three children were hurt; two were treated for minor injuries and released, while a third was in critical condition, hospital officials said.

The two buildings on a largely residential block at East 116th Street and Park Avenue housed 15 apartments, a ground-floor church and a piano store.

Residents of seven nearby buildings, with nearly 90 apartments, lost heating and gas services.

NTSB’s Sumwalt said the main, low-pressure gas distribution line that runs along Park Avenue was still intact. Service lines carry gas into buildings from that main pipe, he said.

Passersby in the primarily Latino neighbourhood donned dust masks or wrapped winter scarves around their faces to limit inhalation of dust and smoke.

The mayor said 66 people who lost their apartments or could not stay there have been given shelter.

“Anyone affected by this tragedy will be helped – anyone – regardless of immigration status… They should not be afraid,” de Blasio said.

The mayor lamented that the neighbour who called Con Ed at 9:13 a.m. (13:13 GMT) on Wednesday failed to call the night before, when he first noticed the gas odour.

“That might have given us an opportunity here,” de Blasio said, urging anyone who smells gas to immediately call Con Edison or the city’s complaint line at 311.

Consolidated Edison Inc spokesman Bob McGee said the last time the utility had received a complaint about a gas odour in the neighbourhood was in May.

At that time, Con Ed shut off the gas and the building hired its own contractor to fix the leak. On July 3, Con Ed crews returned to the building to certify that repairs were done correctly, McGee said.

On February 10 and February 28, there were “high speed” checks made of the gas pipes, he said.

Sumwalt added: “We have not lost sight of the fact that many people’s lives have been affected, many people’s lives have been shattered by this tragic event, and we don’t take that lightly.

“Our goal for being here is to find out what happened so that nobody has to go through this again,” he said.

— Phuket Gazette Editors

 

Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forum
🔔 Subscribe to our daily newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram

image

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand2 mins ago

HM The King returns to Thailand for Father’s Day commemorations

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 hours ago

Omicron spreads to 38 countries, 10 US states; Remdesivir recalled

Transport3 hours ago

Hua Lamphong “won’t be torn down” | VIDEO

advertiseadvertise
North East3 hours ago

Penis park in Khon Kaen is urging visitors to hug a member

Food4 hours ago

Vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Bangkok | VIDEO

Tourism4 hours ago

Maya Bay on hold, but preparations for an eventual reopening continue | VIDEOS

image
Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Indonesia13 hours ago

Volcano eruption in Indonesia; 1 dead, thousands flee

Drugs15 hours ago

Customs department seizes 897 kg of meth headed to Taiwan

Northern Thailand17 hours ago

Tiger in Kamphaeng Phet on the loose for a fifth day

Chiang Mai17 hours ago

Chiang Mai and Hua Hin can now serve alcohol in restaurants

Coronavirus (Covid-19)18 hours ago

Koh Samui Airport scrutinising international arrivals for Omicron

Thailand19 hours ago

PM says government move to digital technology will grow economy

Coronavirus (Covid-19)21 hours ago

COVID-19 SATURDAY: 5,896 infections, 37 deaths, provincial data

Tourism24 hours ago

Chon Buri and Pattaya bar scene get good news, but at what cost?

Coronavirus (Covid-19)24 hours ago

Red Cross leader says Omicron variant result of vaccine inequality

Thailand3 months ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism9 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism9 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand9 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism9 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand11 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Trending