Days after a horrific residential explosion in the Town of Oneonta, New York, the public is pushing back with a litany of questions and frustration surrounding the incident.

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Statements released by NYSEG and Otsego County, New York Sherriff's Office

Within the last 24 hours, both the Otsego County Sheriff's Office and NYSEG have released statements regarding the incident.

Via Facebook, the Otsego County Sheriff's Office said: "The investigation into Saturday’s gas explosion on Richards Ave in the Town of Oneonta is still ongoing, however, at present we are confident in our knowledge of the events that preceded the event. Upon information gained from examination of the scene, interviews, and forensic examinations, our investigation concluded that an action by the resident, resulted in a non-intended natural gas leak. The escaping gases contact with an ignition source resulted in the explosion."

Also via Facebook, NYSEG had this to say: "Following the incident in Oneonta on Saturday afternoon, NYSEG wants to assure its customers that we have confirmed through a thorough investigation that the gas system is in safe and normal operating condition. There were no irregularities, problems, or defects on NYSEG’s system that caused or contributed to this incident.

Our thoughts are with the family of the deceased and all those in the community who have been impacted by this tragic event."
Otsego County, NY via Facebook

Public pushes back, asks questions, and points fingers

As indicated by a number of comments on social media, residents are not satisfied with the answers that have been provided. There are unconfirmed reports that NYSEG was in the neighborhood that morning, and no action was taken.

In response to NYSEG's post, Amanda C had this to say in a comment:

If you/officials are sticking by this "accident" that was "human error" - how come nobody can know exactly what the issue was? One would think that NYSEG would want to use this as an example of what NOT to do so us other humans don't make the same error. The lack of details provided only makes NYSEG look 100% at fault and covering something up.


Under the same post, Tab T said:

Just wondering why , When multiple people had reported a strong odor on that street early morning to your company that no one was told that then ? No one was told to evacuate or leave their residence?


Finally, in response to the statement by the Otsego County Sheriff's Office, Corinne C stated:

You are an elected official. The posts you’ve had about this “incident” are shameful. This is atrocious. The former Sheriff, Mundy was at the end of the street. His widow still there. None of this was handled correctly. Passing blame on the deceased. He has no voice. He can’t dispute your claims, or NYSEGs. The living neighbors can. They were there. They saw, smelled and are feeling the impacts.


It's clear from these comments that residents and members of the public are looking for more information than what is being given from government officials and NYSEG. From reviewing comments, the biggest question right now surrounds what exactly happened within 18 Richards Ave, and what "human error" occurred.

If you or a loved one has been affected by the explosion, reach out to the Otsego County Office of Emergency Services at 607-547-5351.

We'll keep you updated with new information as it breaks.

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