Worker used Match to Check for Gas Leak
By Robert Press
BRONX, NEW YORK (BRONX NEWS)- A worker using a match to check for a gas leak caused the JFK High explosion, Mayor deBlasio said.
The explosion rocked Marble Hill when the gas ignited at the Kennedy education complex.
Mayor Bill de Blasio said a worker at the site of the gas explosion was responsible for the incident. The mayor said one worker had lit a match near a gas line to see if the gas was on. The mayor then went on to say that it looks like the building will not be in shape for opening day of the new school year. In all there are eight schools that comprise the Kennedy Campus which was one known as John F. Kennedy High School, which was closed due to continued poor performance under then Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
The two charter schools inside the Kennedy Campus were scheduled to open for the new school year next week, and those students will be housed in the nearby INTech school building in front of the Kennedy Campus until the building reopens. Mayor de Blasio said that every student who is scheduled to attend any of the schools inside the Kennedy Campus will have a seat in a nearby school until the building can safely reopen.
“I am grateful for all of the efforts of our first responders in the aftermath of last night’s unfortunate gas explosion at John F. Kennedy High School," said Councilman Andy Conen. "While I was on the scene of the incident, the emergency response from the FDNY, NYPD, OEM and others aiding the victims was nothing short of tremendous. I am thankful for their hard work and my thoughts are with the victims who I wish a quick and full recovery.
"I will work diligently with the Mayor, Department of Education, the School Construction Authority and my other colleagues in government to ensure that the damage at the JFK campus is repaired so classes can safely take place there as soon as possible. In the meantime, the City is committed to finding a temporary location that is both a safe and productive learning environment for our students.”
At 8 p.m. on August 20, an explosion rocked the Kennedy campus home to eight schools and over 4,000 high school students.
It appears the explosion was caused by the contractors working on refurbishing the science labs in the rear of the building, where plumbers were working on the gas lines.
Rescue units from all over the Bronx and Upper Manhattan responded, and three of the workers were taken to the hospital with injuries, two of them serious.
The explosion rocked the Marble Hill neighborhood and blew out windows in the building.
The force of the explosion sent some parts of the window frames, glass, and building exterior to the roadway leading to the back of the building and to the front parking lot.
“Last night’s gas explosion at John F. Kennedy High School Campus in Marble Hill was a shock to our community," said Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz. "Though we are very fortunate that the school was not in session, my thoughts and prayers are with the three construction workers who were injured in this unfortunate incident.
"Additionally, I am very grateful to the FDNY, the NYPD, the New York City Office of Emergency Management, Mayor de Blasio, and everyone else who responded to this incident as quickly and efficiently as possible, ensuring the public’s safety. In the coming weeks we will do everything we can to make sure that John F. Kennedy High School Campus is safe and ready to open for students," Dinowitz said.
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