NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - Five people have been arrested in connection with an explosion in Manhattan's East Village that destroyed three buildings and killed two people in March 2015.
Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance made the announcement Thursday morning. He said the defendants set up an illegal gas delivery system.
The carnage was caused by "a foreseeable, preventable and completely avoidable gas explosion," said Vance.
Charges include manslaughter, negligent homicide and assault.
Three contractors and two building owners were taken into police custody.
Landlord Maria Hrynenko, her son, Michael Jr., Bronx contractor Dilber Kukic and plumber Jerry Ioannidis were all charged with second-degree manslaughter, negligent homicide, second-degree assault and reckless endangerment.
Ioannidis and licensed plumber Andrew Trombettas were charged with offering a false instrument for filing, reported the NY Post.
The explosion inside 121- 2nd Avenue caused a partial collapse there and in 123 2nd Avenue. A fire then spread fast, ultimately going to 7 alarms and requiring a response of about 250 firefighters, officials said.
"There was potential here for even more deaths," said FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro on Thursday.
The suspects were arraigned before Justice Kirke Bartley.
Reports from the scene on March 26, 2015:
Raw video of explosion: