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The state Public Service Commission last week offered nine suggestions as to how Con Edison can be better equipped to handle emergencies following the April explosion in a Floral Park home that killed Guyanese immigrant Ghanwatti Boodram.
“I’d like to acknowledge staff for doing such a thorough investigation into this tragic gas explosion in Floral Park, which cost the life of one person, and to note that staff has been actively involved in investigating the explosion and Con Edison’s response since it occurred,” said PSC Chairman Garry Brown.
Boodram, 40, died inside her home at 80-50 260th St. in Floral Park when the explosion occurred. Neither her husband, Dindial Boodram, nor her three young sons were inside the home during the blast.
Among the nine recommendations was a suggestion that Con Ed analyze its procedures so it is “dispatching personnel to emergencies with emphasis on giving higher priority to emergencies than to routine matters.”
Boodram’s neighbors reported the call of a gas leak to Con Edison and a Con Ed worker was about to check on her home when the explosion occurred, according to a report released by the state Department of Public Service.
It was also recommended that Con Ed revise scripts for its customer service representatives.
The PSC said the scripts should be changed in cases of reports of gas leaks or a gas odor so the customer service representative will “obtain a confirmation that the caller understands the instructions and intends to evacuate. If the caller does not answer affirmatively, the [customer service representative] should re-emphasize the hazard.”
An emergency meeting attended by Con Edison officials was set up by City Councilman David Weprin (D-Hollis) shortly after the blast, but it did little to soothe the pain of Boodram’s husband, Dindial Boodram.
“How many more must die for us to get changes,” he said during the May forum. “Please, in my wife’s name, Ghanwatti, I would like to see changes, please. If there was some sort of changes, my wife might have been alive today.”
Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 173.
©2009 Community Newspaper Group
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