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Con Ed vows changes 1 year after deadly East Harlem explosion

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EAST HARLEM, Manhattan (PIX11) -- On Thursday night, many came by  lit candles, and prayed at the memorial. It has been one year since the explosion that left 8 people dead, and many others injured in East Harlem. Elizabeth Alvarez says the horrific incident has changed her neighborhood.

"It's changed a lot because it's scary. Anytime somebody hears a boom or anything, all these kids get scared, my kids are still scared," said Alvarez.

The NTSB is investigating the cause of the explosion.

According to Con Edison, the call came at 9:13 a.m. that day from a resident who reported smelling gas inside the apartment at 1652 Park Avenue, but indicated the odor may have been coming from outside the building.

According to Con Ed, a crew was dispatched at 9:15 a.m. and was en route to the scene when the explosion occurred at 9:31 a.m.

A spokesperson for Con Edison said:

"This is a time to reflect on the families who have been impacted by this event, and to continue working on educating the public on what to do if they smell gas.  As we participate in the ongoing NTSB investigation into the East Harlem explosion, we have been implementing many new initiatives to enhance public safety and increase public awareness about natural gas delivery."

One of the initiatives, Con Ed said, is "Smell Gas, Act Fast" to emphasize the importance of reporting gas leaks. Con Ed says it is also increasing replacement of cast-iron and unprotected steel gas main. They say they will replace an average of 65 miles a year over three years and that that is nearly double from just a few years ago. A spokesperson said they have increased gas leak patrols from once a year to 13 times a year.