A state report says Con Edison violated safety regulations leading up to last year's deadly natural gas explosion in East Harlem.

The State Public Service Commission says the March 2014 blast happened because a gas pipe that wasn't properly protected gave way under stress from eroding soil underneath it and the road asphalt above it.

It says the pipes were also near municipal sewer facilities that hadn't been repaired in some time.

The commission says financial penalties could be levied. It's asking Con Ed respond to the report within 30 days.

Con Ed says it will respond soon, but in a statement, the utility maintained the cause of the explosion was a cracked fitting damaged by a pre-existing sewer breach.

Eight people were killed and dozens more injured in the incident.