Watch CBS News

Con Ed Has Plan To Increase Gas Leak Patrols In Wake Of East Harlem Blast

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Con Edison President Craig Ivey says the utility is starting a pilot program to have trucks that scan for stray voltage check for gas leaks as well.

Ivey said Friday that if the program is successful, Con Edison will expand it to substantially increase the number of gas leak patrols it performs.

Ivey was to announce the pilot program at a New York state Assembly hearing in Manhattan.

According to his prepared remarks, Ivey said everyone at Con Edison is deeply saddened by the March 12 explosion in East Harlem that killed eight people and injured more than 60.

PHOTOS: East Harlem BlastExplosion Aftermath

"We want to get to the bottom of what happened and we must do all we can  to prevent the chance of anything like that from happening again," he said.

He said Con Ed is working with the National Transportation Board and others to determine the causes of the blast.

"Since the tragedy, we have been holding meetings with the city's emergency officials to determine how we can improve the response to gas odor calls and other events involving street infrastructure," Ivey said.

The sudden explosion rocked East Harlem about 15 minutes after someone reported smelling gas in a neighboring building, authorities said.

The blast brought down two five-story buildings that housed a church, a piano store and more than a dozen apartments, and hurled bricks, glass and other debris across the neighborhood.

Ivey said he could not comment on details of the explosion.

Check Out These Other Stories From

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.