Report from NTSB indicates gas leak before deadly blast may have been from new pipe

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FILE- In this March 12, 2014 file photo, firefighters work the scene of an explosion that leveled two apartment buildings killing eight people and injuring about 50, in the East Harlem neighborhood of New York. A new report indicates that a gas main that leaked before the explosion had not been pressure-tested to federal specifications because of a New York state exemption. The report by the National Transportation Safety Board made public Wednesday, March 18, 2015, does not say the lack of a pressure test had anything to do with the explosion. (AP Photo/Jeremy Sailing, File)


NEW YORK — A new report indicates that a gas leak that was reported just before a deadly explosion in New York's East Harlem may have come from a relatively new section of plastic pipe.

At the time of the explosion last year, attention was focused on the Con Edison gas main's cast-iron section that was installed in 1887.

But a National Transportation Safety Board report released Wednesday says that during testing with a tracer gas, high gas concentrations were found coming from a plastic segment that was installed in 2011.

The report does not determine a root cause for the explosion.

The March 12, 2014, blast demolished two buildings, killed eight people and injured about 50. A possible gas leak had been reported just minutes before.

Con Edison wouldn't comment.

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