State Faults Con Ed in Harlem Blast That Killed 8 in 2014

NEW YORK (AP) -

Con Edison violated state safety regulations in connection with a 2014 East Harlem blast that killed eight and hurt dozens more, a state commission said Thursday.

A Public Service Commission report found the March 12 explosion happened because a gas pipe that wasn’t adequately protected at a certain joint gave way under stress from eroding soil underneath it and road asphalt above it. The soil erosion from groundwater was also a contributing factor. The pipes were near municipal sewer facilities that hadn’t been repaired in some time.

The commission directed Con Ed to respond to the report within 30 days and said it could pursue fines.

Con Ed said it will respond. It said the source of the leak was a cracked fitting that had been damaged in the wake of a pre-existing sewer breach.