Neighbors of East Harlem blast site still without gas 3 months later
EAST HARLEM (PIX11) — It’s been three months since the horrific blast in East Harlem that leveled several buildings, and residents in the area are complaining they have been living in damaged property without gas while, it seems, no progress has been made.
After the explosion that killed eight people in March, Con Edison shut off all gas in the area. For many, it has yet to be restored.
But the utility said the gas problem isn’t on them.
“Gas is available for all of the buildings that were affected, however there is internal pipe work that is the responsibility of the building owners that needs to be completed,” ConEd spokesman Alfonso Quiroz told PIX11 News Wednesday.
“We have reached out to these owners several times, but they still aren’t ready,” Quiroz added.
While it seems the East Harlem building owners feel no sense of urgency, Con Edison said it has “provided financial assistance to 101 residents and 22 businesses since the incident.”
Residents living nearby lost belongings in blast, and some have been given hot plates in remuneration. Without gas, residents say they’ve been forced to buy prepared food elsewhere — and that runs up a steep bill quickly.
On Wednesday, Mayor de Blasio released an order giving any resident of NYC who smells gas a direct line to the Fire Department.
Previously, residents who smelled gas would be directed to their gas provider or 311.
The mandate was written to prevent similar tragedies in the future.