Investigators: Illegal Work Found At Site Of Bronx Gas Explosion

Investigators say illegal work was discovered at the scene of a gas explosion in the Bronx that left multiple people, including several children, injured; CBS2's Cory James reports.

Video Transcript

- We have some new information now on a gas explosion in the Bronx. We now know what may have caused yesterday's blast. We have learned illegal work was discovered at the scene where multiple people were injured. CBS 2's Cory James with the latest now.

CORY JAMES: When asked about previous maintenance issues at this Bronx apartment building that exploded Thursday, the landlord, who did not want to give his name or answer questions, said--

- Never.

CORY JAMES: However New York City's Department of Buildings says the agency's plumbing inspectors found that gas piping, fittings, valves, water lines, and waste lines for the use of laundry washing machines, along with gas powered dryers, and a hot water heater for laundry, had all been illegally installed. Official tells the unpermitted work was spotted on the ground floor garage area.

- I got to meet Con Edison and make sure we get to the bottom of it.

CORY JAMES: CBS 2 got a look at the back of the building Friday, where there is extensive damage from the powerful gas explosion, a force that tore this front door off its hinges and sent it flying across the road and landing on power lines. But inside the apartments you can see just how bad the eruption was, scattered debris on the floor, broken furniture, and a ceiling that was ripped apart. Neighbors did not want to talk but local non-profit organization Emergency Rites Bronx was out at the scene meeting with them to help.

AWILDA CORDERO: They said it was very scary. It was-- they were in the room and all of a sudden there's this big boom happened and the bodies flew. They flew from where they were standing at. Ten people were hurt, six of them children, and two of those kids have serious injuries. In response to that, the landlord who is now facing violations, says he feels--

- Horrible. How would you feel?

CORY JAMES: And while the cause of the explosion is still being investigated, The Department of Buildings is ordering the owner retain the services of a professional engineer so that a complete structural evaluation of the building can be done. We're told that report will then be submitted to them for review. In the Morris Park section of the Bronx, Cory James, CBS 2 news.

- Two families have been displaced and now they're staying in temporary housing assisted tonight by the Red Cross.