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East Village, NY -- The Department of Buildings' records show that no permits were acquired for plumbing work done at an apartment building that exploded.
The explosion took down 119-123 Second Avenue. The explosion is said to have been started from gas work being done. ConEdison reported that inspectors had been at the building less than two hours before the explosion. The inspectors noted that the plumber did not leave enough room for a new meter, so they did not let gas flow through the new pipe. It was also found that this plumber did not have proper permits to work at the building.
ConEd did not check the old pipes and are unsure what caused the explosion. They noted that there was "no reports of gas odors in the area prior to the fire and explosion." No leaks were found during the inspection either.
Because there were no permits, it is unclear who was doing the gas pipe work. There was no approval from the D.O.B. to do any plumbing work at the building after November 2014.
The only permit that was found to be current was for "replacement, relocation, and installation to plumbing fixtures." This was issued to Dilber Kuric, a general contractor who was arrested for bribing an undercover investigator to dismiss building violations on properties he owns uptown (Kuric pleaded not guilty).
Kuric was at the building when the explosion occured. "As soon as we opened the basement door, there was an explosion, a fire. It was full of smoke. The debris was on top of me." He is currently in the hospital recovering from injuries he received in the explosion.