(By Lauren Evans)


While details about the chain of events that led to the horrific East Harlem gas explosion that killed seven and injured dozens of others remain murky, there's one thing that quickly became clear: The blast was caused by a natural gas leak, and at least some of the devastation might have been preventable.

Some nearby residents have told reporters that the smell of gas was noticed yesterday and, in some cases, has been lingering for weeks. But Bob McGee, a spokesperson for Con Ed, said the first call reporting the odor only came in yesterday morning, around 20 minutes before the explosion.