Illegal laundry room plumbing eyed in Bronx explosion that hurt 10, including kids

MORRIS PARK, Bronx (WABC) -- Investigators looking into the cause of a Bronx building explosion that left at least 10 people, including children, injured say unpermitted illegal gas and water plumbing work was discovered in a laundry room set up on the first floor.

Inspectors are not yet sure if this improper piping caused the explosion inside the Paulding Avenue building, and a multi agency city investigation is ongoing.

Forensic engineers determined the building is structurally stable and not in imminent danger of collapse, but damage to the front wall of the building was observed as well as severe damage to the interior finishes.

As a result, a full vacate order was issued and the owner ordered to install a fence around the building.

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The two neighboring buildings also suffered damage from the explosion, but both were found to be structurally stable.

The utility company has turned off the gas service to all three buildings, and all residents in the three affected buildings have been offered emergency relocation assistance by the American Red Cross.

Two of the victims sustained broken legs, but all injuries were non-life threatening. Those injured ranged in age from 7 months to 31 years and included three young children and three teenagers, along with two adults.

An FDNY firefighter was also treated for minor injuries.

One mother was left with no choice but to toss her baby out of a window. A babysitter clutched the child, wrapped in blankets, as her mother followed closely behind.

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Neighbor Elvis Copa says the blast shook his house down the block like an earthquake.

"I heard the lady screaming to you know, cause she had the baby right there and I grab the baby," he said. "That was the only option to do it."

And after catching that baby, he climbed a ladder and went inside. Firefighters hadn't arrived yet, and he heard a woman with a broken leg in need of help.

"I had to do it because a lady was screaming inside," Copa said.

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