Press "Enter" to skip to content

‘A reminder of the tragedy’: Plaque honors Second Ave. blast victims

BY THE VILLGE SUN | Marking the site of one of the most shocking disasters — and notorious crimes — in East Village history, a plaque was recently dedicated at the site of the Second Ave. gas explosion that rocked the neighborhood six years ago.

Two men lost their lives, and three buildings, between E. Seventh St. and St. Mark’s Place, were destroyed after a landlord’s illegal gas tap caused a massive blast on March 26, 2015, that turned into a roaring inferno.

The two victims were Nicholas Figuero, 23, who was on a date at Sushi Park restaurant, and Moises Ismael Locón Yac, 27, a busboy at the Asian eatery.

Councilmember Carlina Rivera spoke before the plaque’s unveiling. (Photo by Anthony Donovan)
The plaque commemorates the two young victims and also how the community came together after the tragedy. (Photo by Anthony Donovan)
Nicholas Figuero’s mother, Ana, speaking before the plaque’s unveiling. (Photo by Anthony Donovan)

Thirteen people in total were injured in the explosion, including a Berkeley student who was heading to Pommes Frites for some Belgian fries and lost an eye.

Reverend Amanda Hambrick, from Middle Collegiate Church across the street, offered a prayer. (Photo by Anthony Donovan)

In January 2020, landlord Maria Hrynenko, 59, unlicensed plumber Athanasios “Jerry” Ioannidis, 63, and contractor Dilber Kukic, 44, after having been found guilty of manslaughter, assault and reckless endangerment, were sentenced to four to 12 years in prison.

A fire chief speaking at the ceremony. (Photo by Anthony Donovan)
Local officials attended the dedication, including former Councilmember Rosie Mendez, in foreground at right, and behind her, state Senator Brad Hoylman and Councilmembger Carlina Rivera. (Photo by Anthony Donovan)

Now a new building has been constructed on part of the site where the three destroyed walk-up tenements once stood.

A little more than a week ago, family members of Figuero and Locon were joined there for a plaque dedication by local politicians and others from the neighborhood, plus the prosecutors who put the three conspirators away.

Also there to mark the occasion were the prosecutors from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office who won the convictions of the conspirators, from left, Randolph Clarke, Rachana Pathak and Jacob Russell. (Photo by Anthony Donovan)
The corner sports street co-naming signs for the two victims. Across the intersection, in the background, Middle Collegiate Church last year was also struck by tragedy when it was gutted by a fire. (Photo by Anthony Donovan)
A new building has risen on two of the three lots that were left empty by the disaster. (Photo by Anthony Donovan)

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Mission News Theme by Compete Themes.