One person was killed, one person remains missing, and as many as three others were injured in a Saturday afternoon explosion that caused a residential building to collapse in Borough Park, Brooklyn. Officials have said that they believe the cause may have been a stove removal.
Ligia Puello, 64, was the woman killed in the accident. Officials said she was found in the stairwell of the building and did not stand a chance. Additionally, three others were hurt, including a 27-year-old man, a 34-year-old father and his 9-year-old son who were in front of the building on the sidewalk were injured by debris from the explosion. Fire officials said that one is listed in critical condition, but is expected to survive.
Francisca Figueroa, 48, is still missing. Figueroa was a second floor tenant who was moving out and planning to take her gas stove with her. The stove removal is the primary focus of the investigation.
“To take a stove with you, it entails disconnecting the gas line which leads us, preliminarily, to look in that direction,” according to Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro.
More than 200 firefighters arrived at the scene of the three-story building that includes apartments and a ground-floor business, according to reports. Five firefighters suffered minor injuries and were treated at the scene.
On Saturday, officials said that the fire was under control but will be smoldering throughout the night.
New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio has ordered a full investigation once once the building and surrounding structures are deemed safe. At least five buildings have currently been vacated.
The law firm of Morgan Levine Dolan handles many types of cases involving building collapses and explosions. We have recovered millions of dollars for our clients injured as a result of the negligence of building owners and contractors.
A thorough, detailed investigation into the cause of these buildings collapsing must begin immediately so that crucial evidence is not destroyed. The City of New York and its agencies cannot be relied upon to perform these types of investigations. Many times it is determined that improper building permits were issued by the City and therefore liability is found against the Department of Buildings of the City of New York. Hiring the right lawyer to uncover negligent acts is the first important step.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a building collapse, contact Jared Levine of Morgan Levine Dolan today.