Investigators looking into the cause of a Bronx building explosion that left at least 10 people, including children, injured say unpermitted illegal gas and water plumbing work was discovered in a laundry room set up on the first floor.
- Right now, Con Edison is on the scene trying to figure out what caused a powerful gas explosion in the Bronx. At least 10 people were injured, two of them critically. The blast, so strong it blew off a door, all the way across the street. Eyewitness News Reporter, CeFaan Kim has the latest from the Morris Park section.
CEFAAN KIM: A building explosion in the Bronx, leaving a mother with no choice but to toss her baby out of a window. The babysitter, clutching the child wrapped in blankets. His mother, following closely behind. Neighbor Elvis Copa says, the blast shook his house down the block like an earthquake.
ELVIS COPA: I heard the lady screaming because she had the baby right there. So I ran to it, and I grabbed the baby. That was the only option, to do it.
CEFAAN KIM: And after catching that baby, he climbed this ladder and went inside. Firefighters hadn't arrived yet, and he heard a woman with a broken leg in need of help.
ELVIS COPA: I had to do it because someone was screaming inside.
- People trapped. We got jumpers out the window.
ADRIEL SAMBOLIN: Things, it's not how they're supposed to look.
CEFAAN KIM: Adriel Sambolin says, when he looked up from his phone, his room was upside down. He checked to see if his grandfather was OK.
MIGUEL SAMBOLIN: I'm lucky, you know? I said what, nothing hit me. And I see all the walls and everything.
ADRIEL SAMBOLIN: He hops out the window, he does his thing. OK, he's safe. He's not, you know, but I'm hearing screams coming from the holes in the walls. I'm hearing "my baby, my baby!" I'm thinking of the kids.
CEFAAN KIM: Fire officials say it was a gas explosion on the 2nd floor of the three-storey building on Paulding Avenue around 3:30 in the afternoon. The blast, buckling the brick facade, and cracking nearly every wall inside. The blast was so powerful it sprayed debris across the street. You can see it littered across the sidewalk here. And one of those doors, blown into the power line. You can see it dangling up there.
- It blew out most of the windows and doors, as you could see.
CEFAAN KIM: Nine residents were hurt. Six of them are children. The youngest, a five-year-old. Two in critical condition. A child and an adult with severe burns. All are expected to survive. Alberto Martinez is the husband of the babysitter holding that baby.
ALBERTO MARTINEZ: The family that lived in the house where the explosion happened are not doing too well.
CEFAAN KIM: One firefighter suffered minor injuries. The building is being evaluated for its structural integrity. Con Edison is investigating the cause.