Con Ed gives funds to nearly 90 people affected by NYC gas explosion

NEW YORK, March 20 Thu Mar 20, 2014 4:08pm EDT

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NEW YORK, March 20 (Reuters) - Consolidated Edison Inc has made payments to nearly 90 survivors and other people displaced by the deadly gas explosion that leveled two apartment buildings in New York City last week to help them with living expenses, the utility company confirmed on Thursday.

The company declined to detail the amounts given to the 87 affected people. It said the payments, which were made a week ago, were to cover living expenses for those who lost their homes or have been forced to leave their homes.

Five women and three men were killed and dozens more were injured by the explosion in Manhattan's East Harlem neighborhood on March 12, which occurred just moments after a resident reported a gas leak.

The two nearly identical five-story buildings, which housed a church, a piano store and more than a dozen apartments, were quickly reduced to rubble and debris.

The National Transportation Safety Board, the federal agency that monitors the safety of the nation's pipelines, is continuing to investigate the explosion.

On Tuesday, the agency said investigators examining a gas main using tracer gas found signs of a leak near one of the destroyed buildings.

Con Edison has said that the most recent survey on the block where the buildings stood was done at the end of February, and no leak was found at the time. (Reporting by Jonathan Allen; Editing by Scott Malone and Leslie Adler)

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