A man who narrowly escaped an explosion that levelled his New York home and killed six people has been indicted on charges he tampered with a propane gas line, leading to the blast.
Washington County District Attorney Kevin Kortright says 33-year-old Steven McComsey of North Creek was arraigned today (NZ time) on six counts of second-degree manslaughter and two of reckless endangerment. He isn't accused of intentionally causing the explosion at the home in Salem, but authorities say he was responsible.
Investigators said a spark from a water pump switch ignited propane that had leaked and accumulated in the cellar, causing the explosion that killed six of the 11 people inside on July 13.
McComsey's lawyer has said McComsey did nothing wrong.
Details about how the propane line was altered weren't initially available.
McComsey suffered minor injuries as he was leaving or standing outside when the building blew up. Several of his relatives were among the dead.
The indictment came after a month-long grand jury proceeding that heard 20 witnesses.
The explosion killed Tammy Palmer, 41; Robert Sanford, 16; Lawrence Berg Jr., 19; Darrell Durham, 20; and his two-month-old daughter, Niyah Lynn Durham. They all lived at the house. Also killed was Clarissa Lyn Porlier, 19, a visitor.
Salem is 70 kilometres northeast of Albany near the Vermont border in Washington County.