Greek-American Plumber Gets Prison for Manhattan Explosion that Killed 2

January 20, 2020

NEW YORK (AP) — Three people were sentenced to prison Friday for a 2015 explosion in Manhattan’s East Village that was caused by an illegally installed gas line and killed two men.

Maria Hrynenko, a landlord; Greek-American Athanasios Ioannidis, a plumber; and Dilber Kukic, a contractor, each received a term of four to 12 years in state prison for manslaughter and assault, according to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr.

The blast, which leveled half a block in a crowded neighborhood filled with shops and restaurants, resulted in the deaths of Nicholas Figueroa, 23, and Moises Locon, 26, and seriously injured 13 other people.

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

Ioannidis was operating without a license, and Hrynenko urged both men to do a rush job before Con Edison could approve work at the site, prosecutors said.

Greek-American Andrew Trombettas, a licensed plumber who sold the use of his credentials to Ioannidis, pleaded guilty to lesser charges in March and was placed on probation.

The landlord’s son, Michael Hrynenko, was also charged but died while awaiting trial, according to The New York Times.

“Developers and property owners across the city should keep today’s sentencing in mind as New York’s building boom continues into 2020,” Vance said in a statement. “If you cut corners based on expediency and profit and kill or injure New Yorkers in the process, you are engaging in criminal conduct and my office will seek significant prison time.”


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