Guyanese woman dies after house explodes in Queens, NY
…family demands answers
The family of a Guyanese mother killed last Friday in an explosion at a house in Queens, New York, is demanding answers from Con Edison, the company which supplies electricity to New York City.
A gas leak was the likely cause of the house explosion in Floral Park, Queens, in which Guyanese Ghanwatti Boodram, 40, was killed.
Boodram’s body was discovered about four hours after the 16:50 hrs blast as fire crews did a search of the two-storey house at 80-50 260th Street after the fire was brought under control.
“She was the most wonderful mother,” her husband, Dindial Boodram, said. “She was a grateful wife.”
Dindial Boodram, 46, said he was at work and the couple’s two sons, ages 10 and 7, were in an after-school programme when the explosion occurred. He and the children now are staying with relatives.
Ghanwatti Boodram worked as a registered nurse in the operating room of the St. Luke’s Division of St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center.
At least two other people, including a Con Ed employee and a neighbor, suffered minor injuries in the blast, authorities said. Houses on either side of the Boodrams were damaged extensively and probably will be condemned, firefighters said.
Ghanwatti Boodram was inside the home when the explosion occurred and had not been accounted for. Firefighters found her body shortly after 20:00 hours Friday.
A company spokesman for Con Edison said while they do evacuate individual homes in the case of a gas leak, they do not, as a matter of procedure, evacuate entire blocks of homes. And the spokesman added that the workers were not aware that the gas had leaked into the Boodram’s home.
“If you smell gas, you get people to come out of their homes; it’s that simple. It’s not a complex idea,” blasted Councilman Eric Gioia. The Queens official is calling for Kevin Burke, the CEO of Con Edison to step down.
Gioia said that it is unacceptable that protocols were not created after the 2007 gas explosion that killed a 67-year-old woman in her Sunnyside, Queens, apartment, just before Thanksgiving.
A Con Edison spokesman would only say that they are communicating with the family and that their thoughts and prayers are with them.
Meanwhile, Boodram’s three sons, 10-year-old Ryan, nine-year-old Kevin, and Chris, just seven years old, must learn to live without their mother.
When asked what he will miss most about his mother, Ryan said, “The fact that she always puts me to sleep and she was supposed to go to his graduation this summer.”