Saturday, March 26, 2016

March 26, 2015 — March 26, 2016

Today is the one-year anniversary of the deadly Second Avenue gas explosion.

And there are several articles marking the one-year point. NY1 talks with Mildred Guy, who lived at 119 Second Ave. for 45 years.

[S]he is still reminiscing about her old life but feeling optimistic about the future.

“I'm just grateful. I feel blessed,” she said.

While the blast and fire destroyed three buildings — 45 East Seventh St. (119 Second Ave.), 121 Second Ave. and 123 Second Ave., 15 units in total — several apartments next door at No. 125 also received substantial damage

Inside Edition, the syndicated newsmagazine, talks with several residents, including Bonnie Ramon, who lived at 125 Second Ave. She lost everything from the smoke and water damage, and eventually found a place to say in Brooklyn. She has returned, though.

"I grew up on the Lower East Side; the East Village is home to me," she said. "It’s hard not to come back."

Authorities have said that siphoned gas at 121 Second Ave. is to blame for the explosion, which killed Moises Ismael Locón Yac and Nicholas Figueroa, and injured two dozen other people. A 21-year-old student visiting from Berkeley during spring break lost an eye and fractured his larynx. Two firefighters also suffered serious injuries.

On Feb. 11, the DA charged No. 119 and 121 landlord Maria Hrynenko and her son, Michael Hrynenko Jr., with involuntary manslaughter ... as well as contractor Dilber Kukic and an unlicensed plumber, Athanasios Ioannidis. (A fifth person, Andrew Trombettas, faces charges for supplying his license to Ioannidis.) All pleaded not guilty.

Several weeks ago, George Pasternak, the landlord of 123 Second Ave., put his vacant plot of land up for sale, asking $9.7 million.

Today at 1, City Councilmember Rosie Mendez is holding a press conference to reflect on the tragedy and share legislative measures introduced to prevent future disasters, according to the announcement.

Nora Brooks, who lived on the top floor of No. 123, relocated to Portland, Ore., with her husband Matthew.

She told Inside Edition: "I really would like people to appreciate what Maria (Hrynenko) has taken from people; the lasting effect on the neighborhood and the lives of the people who live there."

I will post photos and a recap from the press conference on Monday morning.

Previously on EV Grieve:
[Updating] Explosion on 2nd Avenue and East 7th Street

How displaced residents are faring after the 2nd Avenue gas explosion

Living out of a suitcase 6 months after the 2nd Avenue explosion

Moving on — and feeling lucky — after the 2nd Avenue explosion

A family continues to feel the loss on 2nd Avenue

Updated: 2nd Ave. explosion — landlord, 3 others charged with 2nd degree manslaughter; showed 'a blatant and callous disregard for human life'

Former residents talk about landlord Maria Hrynenko: 'it was clear she wanted to get rid of anyone with a rent-regulated apartment'

Report: 123 2nd Ave. is for sale

Selling 123 Second Ave.

And read our interviews with longtime residents of 45 E. Seventh St. Mildred Guy and Diane McLean.


Anonymous said...

In 99 years, you will be posting about the 100th anniversary of this, and the 205th anniversary of the Shirtwaist fire.

Steve Herrick said...

There's a press conference at 1 pm and a moment of silence to commemorate the tragedy. Elected officials, families of the victims, local community organizations and people who were displaced will be there.

Anonymous said...

@10:32 - I don't know if you're being sarcastic, but these two tragic events affected this neighborhood and continue to have far-reaching consequences. In the case of the gas explosion, no one has been brought to justice yet for the killing of two people, and the destruction of the lives of many others. These events must never be forgotten or they will happen again. Both tragedies were the direct effect of greed and disregard for human life.

Giovanni said...

This is a sad day for the families and for all those who lost so much that day. The bigger theme here is how little the rich care about anyone but themselves, and how they continue to profit from this tragedy.

A number of landlords took advantage of the gas line mania this past year and shut down The Stage, Ninos Pizza, cutting off gas to many rent stabilized tenants, and made life as miserable as possible to force tenants out. One of these landlords is Donald Trump's son in law Jared Kushner, also known as Mr. Ivanka Trump . Can you imagine what he would do if Mr. Eminent Domain somehow gets elected President?

Let's not forget it's also the anniversary of the Dom Perignon party at Peter Brant's Robot Factory, complete with a marching band in the street while these exploding buildings still burned to the ground. But isn't karma is a bitch? Peter Brant's son was arrested this week for assaulting a cop at JFK in a drunken rage. Brant Jr. is up on a felony assault charge and faces prison time. His own lawyer called him an idiot. And to prove his lawyer was right, after posting bail Junior went out drinking at Indochine, posting more of his ridiculous drunken selfies on Instagram.

And what ever happened to the people who took those selfies in front of the burned out buildings? There must have been a big sale on clueless narcissism that day.

I doubt that any of these drunken narcissists or greed-heads will be at today's memorial for the dead. They're happy to leave it to the rest of us to pick up the pieces.

Anonymous said...

@10:32 If you're going to troll, at least get your math right.

Anonymous said...

No Giovanni, the "bigger theme" is not about the rich and all the stuff you just rambled about (we all agree that that stuff is horrible). The theme today is only about the lives destroyed and lost in the explosion. Take one day off from your soapbox please.

blue glass said...

a press conference a year after the destruction of 121-123 second avenue is almost the same as forgetting about it - except as a reminder of how little our local elected "officials" have done to help those displaced by the explosion - to stop landlords from using gas "problems" as another tool for illegal evictions - or to prosecute those responsible for the destruction the buildings and the negative impact on nearby businesses.

Anonymous said...

@5:52. Thank you. That guy is one bitter piece of trash.

Anonymous said...

10:32a is the bitter and clueless piece of trash.

Anonymous said...

Gio is right. I was at the memorial today, I doubt these trolls were there. The families who lost their homes agreed that the big issue is landlord greed. That's what got two nice young guys killed and made so many people homeless. Unless we stop these greedy landlords from their illegal activities even more people will be in danger of losing their lives and their homes.

Anonymous said...

@11:30 Oh so it wasn't a memorial at all, it was a protest rally? That's what I thought.

Shame on you for making this about your interests and agenda. Regardless of what the root of the issue is, it was a memorial to remember those affected. Not for you paranoid "trolls" that think it might happen to you next.

blue glass said...

can we all agree that a press conference is not a memorial, and a memorial is not a protest?

cmarrtyy said...

We are increasingly becoming a "victim nation". The EV is not a cemetery. Justice and time will take care of this tragedy not craven politicians, flowers and posters.