As always happens in these situations, more and more information is becoming available as time goes on. Local news agencies are now reporting that residents in the area of Joseph Street have been smelling natural gas for days (natural gas is odorless but is treated to give it its signature sulphur-like smell).
WETM-TV is reporting that a neighbor smelled gas a few days ago, and that NYSEG was in the area as recently as yesterday. The WETM-TV report can be found here.
The Star Gazette is now reporting that a neighbor smelled a strong odor of natural gas at 1:00 AM today, and called NYSEG to report it. NYSEG workers arrived in the neighborhood around 1:30 AM and left between 3:00 or 4:00 AM, only hours before the explosion. The Star Gazette report can be found here.
It is shocking and disturbing that a gas leak could be going on for days, that NYSEG could be aware of the problem for days, and yet leave the area without addressing the leak or warning the residents of this neighborhood. With days of notice that something was wrong, it seems that NYSEG should have been able to prevent this awful tragedy.
The victims and their family are in our thoughts.
ZiffLaw Attorney, Esq.
NY and PA Injury and Accident Attorney
The Ziff Law Firm, LLP
303 William Street
Elmira, NY 14901