Trial begins in East Village gas explosion that killed 2

NEW YORK (AP) — Opening statements have begun in the trial related to the 2015 gas explosion in Manhattan's East Village that killed two people, injured 19 others and leveled three buildings.

Prosecutors have charged a landlord and two workers with manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide for rigging an illegal gas line that triggered the blast on Second Avenue.

A restaurant worker and a diner in the sushi restaurant on the ground level of one of the collapsed buildings were killed in the explosion. Their badly burned bodies were discovered by rescue workers digging through the rubble days later.

In opening statements Monday, prosecutors say the defendants' actions showed "blatant disregard for the well-being of others."

Defense lawyers said their clients did not cause the blast.

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