Three Convicted in East Village Explosion That Killed Two Men

November 18, 2019

Three people were convicted of manslaughter Friday in the 2015 East Village building explosion that killed two men.

They also were found guilty in Manhattan state Supreme Court of assault charges for injuries to 13 people in the massive blast that leveled two buildings.

Prosecutors say the deadly explosion was triggered by a gas line that was installed illegally.

The two men who died were a guest and a busboy in a Japanese restaurant housed in the building on Second Avenue owned by Maria Hrynenko.

The blast killed 23-year-old Nicholas Figueroa and 26-year-old Moises Locon. The injured included former fire department Battalion Chief Edward Tierney, who testified that he is in constant pain from the injuries he suffered battling the blaze after the explosion.

The other two defendants were plumber Athanasios Ioannidis and contractor Dilber Kukic.

The three are expected to be sentenced in January.

“As construction and development continues to boom, today’s guilty verdict puts property owners, contractors, and managers on notice: My office will pursue criminal charges against those who place expediency and financial gain over life and limb,” Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance said in a statement after the conviction. “This is a big win for public safety in New York.”

Prosecutors said Ioannidis was operating without a license, and the building owner urged both men to do the work as fast as possible, before Con Edison could inspect the site.

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