14:38 GMT29 May 2020
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    New York City’s main energy provider, Consolidated Edison, is largely to blame for the deadly gas explosion in March 2014, National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Chairman Christopher Hart said in a statement Tuesday.

    NEW YORK (Sputnik) — On Mach 11, 2014, a gas explosion in East Harlem claimed eight lives and injured at least 50 people.

    “People in the area of the accident failed to report the gas leak on the night of March 11, calling into question the adequacy of Con Edison’s public awareness efforts.”

    Hard explained Con Edison broke protocol by not contacting the first responders when a leak was reported.

    “Once the leak was reported on the morning of March 12, Con Edison lost one more opportunity to avoid or mitigate the accident by neglecting to notify the New York City Fire Department.”

    The federal probe, which lasted more than a year, determined if the fire department had been timely notified, an evacuation of the area in about 15 minutes prior to the explosion could have been carried out.

    The NTSB also found that a broken sewer in the vicinity of the accident had not been repaired for eight years.

    “These factors aligned to create the accident,” Hart said.

    The National Transportation Safety Board is an independent US agency charged by the Congress with determining the probable cause of transportation and other accidents and promoting transportation safety, according to the NTSB’s website.

    gas explosion, New York City
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