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For Immediate Release: April 21, 1998


Con Edison has amicably resolved an inquiry by the Queens District Attorney into a 1996 fire and explosion at the Hyo Shin Bible Presbyterian Church in Queens. After a year and a half investigation, the matter has been concluded without any charges being brought against the company or its employees.

From the outset of this investigation, the company has maintained that there was no basis for company liability and is pleased that the District Attorney has decided not to file criminal charges.

The investigation focused on an improper coupling, which had apparently been installed by an unlicensed plumber. The company denied liability and disagreed with the District Attorney’s assessment of some of the facts and the cause of the accident. Nonetheless, in connection with the resolution of the matter, the company agreed to make changes to a number of the procedures governing the inspection of high-pressure gas piping.

The company believes that the procedures followed at the time of the accident were reasonable and prudent. Although it is unable to control the actions of unlicensed plumbers or other third parties, the company has reinforced training procedures for its employees in order to minimize the possibility that an accident like this could happen again.

The company also has amicably resolved litigation that had been filed against it by the church and is pleased this agreement enables the church to rebuild. \n\n\n\n\n

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