The New York landlord and two construction workers go to manslaughter after killing two people when a deadly explosion was caused by an & # 39; illegal gas pipeline & # 39; – with which they avoided losing their renters of $ 6,000 a month
- The lawsuit against landlord Maria Hrynenko, contractor Dilber Kukic and plumber Jerry Ioannidis started on Monday in the Supreme Court of Manhattan
- The trio are accused of manslaughter and criminally negligent murder for the March 2015 explosion at 121 Second Ave in East Village
- Nicholas Figueroa, 23, and Moises Yocon Lac, 26, were killed when the blast tore through Sushi Park on the ground floor of the building that owned Hrynenko
- 13 others were injured in the explosion and the subsequent fire, including firefighters
- Prosecutors say that the explosion was caused by a risky and illegal diversion of the gas pipeline
- ADA Randolph Clarke said the defendants a & # 39; virtual bomb & # 39; under the residential area when they tampered with the gas pipeline
The trial of a landlord and two construction workers accused of illegally tampering with a gas system and causing a deadly explosion in which two people were killed and 13 injured in Manhattan East Village in 2015, started Monday in the Manhattan Supreme Court.
Landlord Maria Hrynenko, general contractor Dilber Kukic and plumber without license Athanasios & # 39; Jerry & # 39; Ioannidis are confronted with manslaughter, criminally negligent murder and related charges as a result of the explosion that started at the five-story Hrynenko residential building in 121 Second Ave and destroyed three buildings.
Hrynenko, 59, and Kukic, 44, who worked on the landlord's property, would have brought Ioannidis, 63, to help with a risky and illegal diversion of the gas pipeline.
During the opening verdicts, Prosecutor Randolph Clarke said the suspects by rigging the gas pipeline & # 39; a virtual bomb & # 39; created under the residential area.
The trial of a landlord and two construction workers accused of illegally tampering with a gas system and causing a deadly explosion in which two people were killed and 13 injured in Manhattan East Village in 2015, started Monday in the Manhattan Supreme Court. The landlord, Maria Hrynenko, 59, arrives in court
Derek Kukic, a 44-year-old general contractor who worked on the property of Hrynenko, will arrive in court on Monday morning (right). Kukic, Hrynenko and plumber without permit Athanasios & # 39; Jerry & # 39; Ioannidis are confronted with homicide, criminally negligent murder and related accusations as a result of the explosion
The explosion began in a five-story residential building that Hrynenko owned on 121 Second Ave and destroyed three buildings. Hours later, flames are seen from the explosion area
Nicholas Figueroa, 23, and Moises Yocon Lac, 26, were killed when the explosion ripped on March 26, 2015 by Sushi Park on the ground floor of 121 Second Ave. Figueroa was a patron and Lac was an employee.
Thirteen others were seriously injured in the explosion and subsequent fire, including responding firefighters.
An investigation into the explosion resulted in charges against Hyrnenko, Kukic, Ioannidis and the son of Hrynenko, Michael Jr.
Nicholas Figueroa, 23, (left) and Moises Yocon Lac, 26, (right) were killed when the explosion ripped through Sushi Park on the ground floor of 121 Second Ave on March 26, 2015. Figueroa was a patron and Lac was an employee
The explosion and subsequent fire sent a huge plume of smoke over Manhattan (photo)
The building where the explosion started and two others were destroyed in the explosion and fire
Prosecutors say the defendants were caught by utility company Con Edison for an illegal gas pipeline built with leak-sensitive plastic tube seven months before the explosion.
Con Ed ordered them to solve the problem, but instead they devised a way to continue tapping illegally into the gas pipe of the neighboring building, 119 Second Avenue, also owned by Hrynenko, to supply the apartments on 121 with gas . The second gas line was hidden from Con Ed and city inspectors in a locked utility room, Clarke said.
He said the defendants have a & # 39; blatant contempt for the well-being of others & # 39; when they ignored the risk & # 39; s & # 39; & # 39; and the project rushed because Hrynenko did not want to lose rental income.
& # 39; (They) threw the dice and the costs were paid by Mr. Figueroa, Mr. Lac and 13 others, & # 39; the public prosecutor told a crowded courtroom.
& # 39; You do not need a permit from a contractor or plumber to understand that you are not tampering with natural gas, & # 39; he said.
The defense is expected to claim that the explosion was caused by a non-related leak in the restaurant, not by gas pipe manipulation.
Prosecutors say that the defendants & # 39; dangerous … deadly shortcuts & # 39; made when tapping a gas pipeline (photo) on 119 Second Avenue to provide apartments in neighboring 121
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