Monday, March 28, 2016
[Photo by EVG correspondent Steven]
On Saturday afternoon, local elected officials along with community members and families of victims came together to mark the one-year anniversary of the deadly East Village gas explosion. (The event was billed the East Village Explosion Day of Remembrance.)
"A year after the East Village explosion, all that remains is three empty lots as a constant reminder of an avoidable tragic event that took the lives of two young men, rendered dozens of residents homeless, temporarily displaced hundreds of others from their homes and interrupted the livelihood of small business owners for weeks and in some cases months," City Councilmember Rosie Mendez said in a prepared statement.
The speakers offered their condolences to the families of the victims, Moises Ismael Locón Yac and Nicholas Figueroa, thanked the first responders and vowed to take steps to make sure that tragedies like this don't happen again.
"One year ago, we lost two innocent individuals due to greed and poor safety oversight. This tragedy is a reminder that the pursuit of profits over people too often jeopardizes the safety of all New Yorkers," said Assemblymember Deborah J. Glick. "While the City has made efforts since the explosion to bring those responsible to justice, there is still much to do in order to ensure that this type of tragedy cannot occur again."
[Deborah J. Glick]
As for future safety issues, City Council has introduced legislation aimed at preventing another disaster. Mendez is the lead sponsor of Intro. 1093, which requires gas providers to notify the Department of Buildings within 24 hours of issuing a gas service shut off. This bill and eight others were introduced in the City Council on Feb. 24 to hold individuals and agencies accountable.
"As a community, we join the families of East Harlem in their sorrow," Mendez said. "We can never forget the tragedies that were avoidable and we vow to work to ensure that no one else has to suffer and endure what the families and our communities have."
[Mildred Guy, who lived at 119 2nd Ave. for 45 years]
[1st responders representing Engine 33/Tower Ladder 9 and FDNY Engine 28, Ladder 11]
Media coverage from the Day of Remembrance included:
• ABC 7
• CBS 2
• Daily News
• Fox 5
• NBC New York
• New York Post
• PIX 11
All photos by Stacie Joy unless noted