On November 15, 2019, after prosecution and defense spent two months at trial, the New York State Supreme Court of New York County convicted Maria Hrynenko, the owner of the building in the tragic 2015 East Village gas explosion, as well as Dilber Kukic, a general contractor, and Athanasios Ioannidis, an unlicensed plumber, for two counts of manslaughter, a class C Felony, among several other felony and misdemeanor convictions. Sentencing for all three is scheduled for January 10, 2020. Each face up to 15 years in prison.
The 2015 East Village gas explosion was due to reckless, unlicensed plumbing work, specifically an illegal connection. The horrific explosion resulted in two fatalities and nineteen injuries. The fire caused by the explosion damaged 119, 121, and 123 Second Avenue in the East Village.
Earlier this year, a cover-up plumber by the name of Andrew Trombettas, who was involved in the explosion, plead guilty for offering a false instrument for filing, as he allowed Athanasios Ioannidis to use his plumbing license. Trombettas received a sentence of 100 hours of community service and 3 years probation. His NYC plumbing license was permanently revoked.
The Plumbing Foundation City of New York, Inc. works to combat unlicensed plumbing work as the industry is well aware of the deadly consequences from such work. Building owners must hire licensed, qualified plumbers to conduct any gas work, whether it is an inspection, repair, or replacement of a full gas system.
If you or someone you know believes unlicensed plumbing work is being conducted in any of the five boroughs, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.