General Contractor, Subs, and Owners Indicted for Deadly Shortcuts

February 12, 2016

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance announced Thursday five indictments in connection with a deadly Manhattan gas explosion and fire last March 27, 2015 that killed two people.

Charges against the building's owners, plumbers and a general contractor include falsifying documents, assault in the second degree and criminally negligent homicide.

Prosecutors allege that those indicted "recklessly engineered an illegal gas delivery system," ABC News reports.

Eight months before the 2015 explosions, Consolidated Edison utility inspectors turned off the gas at the site after discovering an unsafe gas hook-up. The building owner Maria Hrynenko and her son Michael Hrynenko, master plumber Andrew Trombettas, general contractor Dilber Kukic, and worker Athanasios Ioannidis then engineered a complex, makeshift workaround from an uncapped gas meter in a locked room in the basement of the adjacent building.

Among the shortcuts taken that lead to the explosion include Trombettas renting out his master plumbing license to Ioannidis who wasn't certified to perform the work. Trombettas was in Greece on one occasion when he said he had supervised work, according to Mark Peters, commissioner of New York's Department of Investigation.

"Development, construction and renovation is happening across the city at breakneck speed," said Vance, noting that the temptation for taking "shortcuts has never been greater."

Source: ABCNews;