Gas Leak Before Deadly East Harlem Blast May Have Come From New Pipe: NTSB

A new report indicates that a gas leak that was reported just before a deadly explosion in East Harlem may have come from a relatively new section of plastic pipe.

At the time of the explosion last year, attention was focused on the Con Edison gas main's cast-iron section. It was installed in 1887.

But a 3,000-page National Transportation Safety Board report released Wednesday says that during testing with a tracer gas, high gas concentrations were found coming from a plastic segment that was installed in 2011.

The report does not determine a root cause for the explosion.

The blast on March 12, 2014, demolished two buildings, killed eight people and injured about 50. A possible gas leak had been reported just minutes before. 

Con Edison officials said they received only one call reporting gas that morning, about 20 minutes before the explosion. Several residents said they made other complaints about the odor, but those calls could not be located by city investigators.

Con Edison said it has begun surveying gas mains in Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens and Westchester on a monthly basis, as opposed to yearly before the blast. 

The gas pipe that led to the explosion was 127 years old.

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