According to the New York Post, a plumber who worked at the East Village building that exploded last month, killing two people, has confessed to illegally tapping into a gas line at the request of the landlord’s son.
The unidentified tradesman confessed to rigging a gas-supply system for apartments at 121 Second Ave. but blamed it on his boss to “deflect” any fault from himself, law enforcement sources said.
Authorities haven’t decided whether to cut a deal with the worker in exchange for his testimony or use his statement against him, one source said.
Investigators believe that, on the day of the deadly blast, an illegal gas siphoning device was dismantled shortly before inspectors visited the building and unsuccessfully reinstalled after the inspectors left.
Michael Hrynenko Jr., the landlord's son, and Dilber Kukic, a general contractor from the Bronx under investigation for unrelated corruption charges, were in the building at the time of the explosion; Hrynenko Jr. was reportedly injured by the blast and carried from the building by Kukic.
The Post’s attempts to reach landlord Maria Hrynenko and her son were unsuccessful, in part because Hrynenko has apparently fired the lawyer who initially represented her after the explosion. “It wasn’t working out between us,” lawyer Thomas Curtis told the Post. “The whole thing is very strange. I think she’s made a mistake.”