Plumber Says He Rigged Gas Line Before NY's East Village Explosion

The mysterious circumstances surrounding the explosion that tore through NYC apartment buildings late last month may finally be solved: According to a report in the New York Post, a local plumber confessed to setting up an illegal gas connection in the building.

Though the landlord's attorney maintains Con Edison is to blame for the faulty gas connection at 121 Second Avenue, the Post reports that the plumber -- who remains anonymous -- was forced by the building owner's son to set up illegal gas lines from Sushi Park (the ground-floor restaurant) to the residential units above.

Con Ed workers had been checking the building's gas lines no more than a half hour prior. The company insists it did not unlock the gas connection in the building that day.

A spokesperson for the utility company said,

We said no, this is a mess. They looked at the work and said, we're going to fail you.

Police have been combing through the rubble in hopes of finding evidence pointing to a definitive cause since the spontaneous blast and subsequent seven-alarm fire, which killed two and injured dozens.

The plumber's alleged testimony against the building owner's son, Michael Hrynenko, adds a new element to this rapidly unraveling mystery.

If the plumber's story checks out, he may also be charged.

According to an anonymous source,

Authorities haven't decided whether to cut a deal with the worker in exchange for his testimony or use his statement against him

Citations: Plumber confesses I rigged illegal gas blast line for landlords son (New York Post), Plumber confesses to gas siphoning before East Village explosion (Gothamist)