A 53-year-old man was today formally charged in connection with causing two deaths in an explosion that demolished an apartment building in Southampton, exactly one year ago today.

Robert Tota appeared in Magistrates’ Court this morning, where he was charged with unlawfully killing Jove and Oscar Mascarinas on the night of May 2 last year.

The defendant was not required to enter a plea to the indictable offence, which will go before the Supreme Court.

Director of Public Prosecutions, Cindy Clarke, told the court that the charges stem from allegations of gross negligence, including an allegation that Mr Tota was responsible for installing a gas stove at the Hilltop Court residence.

Photograph Supplied

Five people were rushed to the hospital’s Emergency Department as a result of the fatal explosion that claimed the lives of Mr Mascarinas, 49 and his wife, Jove, 50, who died eight days after the tragic incident.

The couple, from the Philippines, worked and resided in Bermuda.

The case was set down for the next arraignment session on June 1.

Tota was released on $8,000 bail with a like surety.

Jove & Oscar Mascarinas – Facebook

Top Feature Photo: Robert Tota – Image from LinkedIn