Focus Shifts To Cause Of East Village Explosion After 2 Bodies Found

CBS New York

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — With the recovery of two bodies, focus has shifted to what caused the explosion and fire that leveled three East Village apartment buildings.

Mayor Bill de Blasio has said someone may have improperly tapped a gas line before the explosion. Consolidated Edison said workers discovered in August that a line had been illegally tapped.

By the hour, crews continue to get closer to the basement and gas line where the explosion originated, retracing what they describe as fatal missteps before the blast.

Once investigators have access to the basement, they’ll try to pinpoint the cause of the explosion. City officials suspect that leaking natural gas was the source of Thursday’s explosion and fire, which sparked a raging blaze that took hundreds of firefighters to quell.

Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said crews should reach the cellar level where the explosion took place by Monday.

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