EAST HARLEM — The National Transportation Safety Board will release the findings of its investigation into the cause of the building explosion that killed eight people, injured 50, and displaced dozens last year.
The report is scheduled to be released sometime after 1 p.m., according to the NTSB.
During onsite inspections in March 2014, investigators found segments of a 12-inch water main that contained a large crack. They also collected sections of the 8-inch gas pipe that ran below the 1644 and 1646 Park Ave. buildings.
According to a city official, the explosion was caused by an improperly installed Con Edison fusion joint that was installed by an uncertified worker in December 2011.
City officials believe the water main was cracked after the explosion because there were no evidence of leaks in the area prior to the explosion, she added.
Information from the report will likely influence more than 200 potential lawsuits that the city faces.
The Comptroller’s Office has received more than 205 notices of claim related to the explosion. Con Edison is named in many of the notices of claim.
The report will contain detailed information about what happened and lawyers will be able to use that information to try to prove negligence, said attorney Robert Vilensky, who represents 18 victims.
“The information will probably be more important to us than the findings,” Villensky added, saying he expected the report to place some of the blame on Con Edison, he added.
Earlier this month, Con Edison sued the city claiming that it knew about infrastructure issues and did not address them properly, according to the Daily News.
A Con Edison spokesman said the utility company will release statements on the lawsuit and the report after the NTSB releases it Tuesday.
"I don’t know if you know what the word chutzpah means, but to me Con Ed filing against the city is the epitome of chutzpah,” Vilensky said of Con Edison's lawsuit.
Since the explosion, Con Edison has taken steps to increase pipe patrols and other safety measures.
In December, they announced an initiative to increase patrols of gas mains from once a year to 13 times a year. They are also partnering with the city to replace leak-prone pipes whenever city workers replace nearby water and sewage systems. This will replace 65 miles of pipes by 2016, according to Con Edison.