Quantcast

DNAinfo has closed.
Click here to read a message from our Founder and CEO

Con Ed to Pay $153M in Settlement For Fatal Harlem Blast

By Trevor Kapp | February 17, 2017 11:22am
 Con Ed has reached an agreement with the state following the fatal East Harlem gas explosion.
Con Ed has reached an agreement with the state following the fatal East Harlem gas explosion.
View Full Caption
MTA/Facebook

EAST HARLEM — Con Edison has agreed to a $153 million settlement following the 2014 Park Avenue blast that killed eight people and destroyed two buildings, officials said.

The agreement between the utility service and New York state’s Public Service Commission ensures that Con Ed — and not its customers — foots the bill for repairs to its gas distribution system, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said.

It’s the largest gas-safety related money settlement in state history, he said.

"The East Harlem explosion was devastating and entirely avoidable," the governor said in a statement. 

"This landmark action is a pointed reminder to the energy companies of their awesome responsibility to maintain safety first and foremost.”

The Department of Public Service found that Con Ed was to blame for failing to adhere to several state gas safety regulations, officials said.

The March 12 explosion leveled 1644 and 1646 Park Ave., near East 116th Street, and left more than 50 people injured. 

A faulty gas pipe maintained by the utility company, which had been ignored by the Department of Environmental Protection for more than a decade, allowed gas to fill the surrounding buildings, the National Transit Safety Board later determined.

“The East Harlem tragedy and ensuing investigations by Con Edison and other agencies have led to significant safety improvements and heightened public awareness,” Con Ed said in a statement.

The settlement has no impact on civil suits brought against the utility company.