Illegal gas work found at site of Bronx explosion, officials say


Emergency scene at Bronx multi-family home, Feb. 18, 2021.

THE BRONX — Investigators discovered illegal gas work was done at the site of a Bronx gas explosion Thursday evening that injured 9 people, officials told PIX11 Friday.

A City Department of Buildings spokesperson said plumbing inspectors found gas piping, fittings, valves, water lines, and waste lines for the use of laundry washing machines, gas-powered dryers, and a hot water heater for the laundry had all been illegally installed in the ground floor garage area of the building.

The work was performed without proper permits or approvals from the department, the official said. Violations have been issued to the property owner.

The cause of the explosion, though, still remains under investigation.

The explosion happened on the second floor of the building, the DOB said, blowing out most of the windows and doors. The two adjacent buildings also suffered damage from the explosion, but each of the three buildings were found to be structurally stable.

Six of the nine people injured were children, officials said. Two of the kids suffered critical injuries, though they’ve improved to serious condition.

Friday, a wooden fence was being erected around the property.

Adriel Sambolin shivered outside Thursday after rushing from the home in shorts. He got out through a window.

“My room was just upside down in a second,” he said. “There’s holes literally in the walls. The ceiling in the kitchen literally came down.”

Sambolin said he was worried about his grandfather, but said he’s OK.

“I’m actually kinda happy. I know that sounds strange, but considering how quickly this happened, this could have been really bad,” Sambolin said. “All my neighbors are alive, so I feel good.”

Cristian Benavides, Jennifer Bisram, Aliza Chasan and the PIX11 News Desk contributed.

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