Explosion Inquiry Clears Gas Technician
Ten days after the explosion in a Jerusalem apartment building that killed three people, fire investigators have reportedly cleared of all blame a gas technician who was initially arrested on suspicion of criminal negligence.
According to Walla news, the investigators no longer believe that a leaking Junkers-type gas water heater is to blame for the accident. Rather, they now believe that a regular gas faucet in Linda Schwartz's apartment was left open for several hours before the blast. The gas faucet, which is supposed to supply gas to a kitchen gas range by means of a flexible pipe, was propbably left open by mistake.
Schwartz 50, was killed by the blast, as were her neighbors – Avraham Tufan, 56, his wife Galit, 42, and their baby son, Yosef-Haim, aged 2.
The gas technician was arrested because he had been called to the Tufans' apartment hours before the blast when they smelled gas. He turned off their gas faucet and said he'd be back the next day. He was released when it turned out that the blast did not take place in the Tufans' apartment but in the one next door.
The investigators did not find the remains of a gas stove that was supposed to be connected to the pipe that leaked the gas in Linda Schwartz's apartment. They believe that the fact that the pipe was not connected to a stove made the gas leakage worse than it otherwise would have been.