Remains of Two Missing Pulled From Manhattan Gas Explosion Site

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The final two missing from last week’s gas explosion on Manhattan’s Lower East Side have been pulled from the rubble days after an alleged illegal gas tap set off a massive seven alarm inferno that killed two and injured 25.

The catastrophic blast the interrupted the afternoon routines of St. Mark’s Place residents, has been labeled suspicious and Manhattan D.A. Cyrus Vance has also opened a case file into the possibility of criminal charges stemming from the alleged illegal gas tapping that led to the cataclysmic disaster.

The epicenter for the massive explosion was 121 Second Avenue, Sushi Park Restaurant, which has been deemed the epicenter. Con Edison indicated they had just left the establishment 30 minutes prior to answer reports of a gas leak to which they responded was non-existent.

The bodies of missing men Nicolas Figueroa 23, and Moises Lucon, 26, were pulled from the rubble in the last 24 hours marking a turn in the recovery mission. Although the FDNY has indicated sifting through the rubble will continue on the off chance others may be located that have not been reported missing.

More than 25 were injured, four critically, and 21 with varying degrees of burns, cuts, imbedded shards of glass and other injuries consistent with an explosion when the blast ripped through the Shushi Park restaurant triggering the enormous, engulfing and fast moving fire that consumed the mixed occupancy buildings within minutes.

Nicolas Figueroa was identified by family members after a tense four day vigil. Figueroa was taking advantage of the afternoon Sushi special, and had paid the bill of just over $13.00 when the blast detonated. His date, still sitting at the table was blown into the street by the force. She crawled out of the rubble, bloody with head and facial wounds and cuts. She was taken to Bellevue Hospital.

Moises Locon, a restaurant employee at Shushi Park, an immigrant who worked diligently 12hour shifts daily to save and provide for his family in Guatemala was also discovered in the rubble. His family also mourns and has lost its sole provider.

Heroic stories from pedestrians, a Bronx off duty firefighter, who managed the rapidly escalating scene until local FDNY units arrived, is credited with saving lives, conducting fast search, locate, rescue, and evacuations of panicked resident in the burning and smoked filled buildings.

The blast that rocked the ground and buildings along the highly traveled Second Avenues in Manhattan’s East Village, near the eastern border of the New York University campus, caused the collapse of three buildings totally and partially damaged one, with water and smoke damage to others. 119, 121,123 Second Avenue all collapsed. 125 Second Avenue was partially damaged.

Residents are permanently barred from the scene and nothing remains for those tenants to recover.

 

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