The heartbreaking farewell came as detectives looking into allegations that the explosion was caused by workers illegally tapping into the gas line were preparing to bring criminally negligent homicide charges against whoever was responsible.
“This is likely going to end up a homicide case,” a high-ranking police source told the Daily News. “The DA will probably bring it to the grand jury.”
The focus of the criminal investigation is building owner Maria Hrynenko and contractor Dilber Kukic, sources have said.
Both are suspected of tapping into a gas main meant to serve only a first-floor sushi restaurant to provide heat to Hrynenko’s tenants on upper floors. Kukic is no stranger to the law. He was arrested in October for allegedly trying to give a city inspector a $600 cash bribe to make two violations on buildings he owns on W. 173rd St. in Manhattan go away.
“No one's going to be charged for doing sloppy work, but if it can be proved that someone was told to do this, then it's a criminally negligent homicide,” the source said.
Everyone from Hrynenko and Kukic to the plumber who had been working at 121 Second Ave. at the time of the blast has been grilled.
“All of them got lawyers and they're all pointing fingers at each other,” the high-ranking source said.