Family Demands Answers After Queens House Explosion

The family of a mother killed in a Queens house explosion is demanding answers from Con Edison.

Dindial Boodram picked up a pile of pictures from the debris on Sunday. 

“This was when we were in Jamestown,” he said, as his three sons picked up what’s left of their home: some piano music, his eldest son Ryan’s first teddy bear, a piece of their dining room furniture. Their home was destroyed when a gas explosion leveled their house and caused a two-alarm fire.

Boodram’s wife, 40-year-old Ghanwatti was inside at the time. She had just returned home from work and was preparing to pick her sons up from school when the blast happened.

“I tried to call her cell phone,” said Boodram as he fought back tears.  “But she didn’t pick up, that was on my mind.”

Con Edison said they received a complaint of an odor of gas on 260th Street in Floral Park on Friday afternoon. By 4:15 p.m., a Con Edison worker had discovered there was a gas leak.  At 4:50 p.m., as workers lifted a manhole cover to vent some of the gas, the house exploded.

“If they had evacuated the homes, my wife would be here with us,” Boodram said.

A company spokesman said while they do evacuate individual homes in the case of a gas leak, they do not, as a matter of procedure, evacuate entire blocks of homes. And the spokesman added, the workers were not aware that the gas had leaked into the Boodram’s home. 

“If you smell gas, you get people to come out of their homes, it’s that simple. It’s not a complex idea,” blasted Councilman Eric Gioia. The Queens official is calling for Kevin Burke, the CEO of Con Edison to step down.

Gioia said it is unacceptable that protocols were not created after the 2007 gas explosion that killed a 67-year-old woman in her Sunnyside, Queens, apartment, just before Thanksgiving. 

A Con Edison spokesman would only say that they are communicating with the family and that their thoughts and prayers are with them.

Meanwhile, Boodram’s three sons, 10-year-old Ryan, 9-year-old Kevin, and Chris, just 7-years-old, must learn to live without their mother.

When asked what he will miss most about his mother, Ryan said, “The fact that she always puts me to sleep and she was supposed to go to his graduation this summer.”

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