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Police: 2 bodies found in NYC building explosion rubble

March 30, 2015

NEW YORK (AP) — Two bodies were found Sunday amid rubble from the Manhattan apartment building collapse three days earlier and authorities said everyone was accounted for since the apparent gas explosion that caused a massive fire and altogether leveled three buildings and damaged a fourth.

Authorities had been looking for signs of two missing men since Thursday’s explosion, in which 22 people were injured, including four critically. Officials suspect someone may have improperly tapped a gas line serving one of the buildings.

During their search, authorities said they believed the missing men had been inside a ground floor sushi restaurant at the time of the explosion: 26-year-old Moises Lucon, who worked at the restaurant, and 23-year-old Nicholas Figueroa, a bowling alley worker who had been there on a date.

“We continue to search although there are no other missing persons,” Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said after the two bodies were pulled from the wreckage Sunday afternoon. “So the feeling is everyone who had been reported missing has now been found.”

He said the families of the two men had been notified.

The names of the two dead were not immediately released; a medical examiner was to determine the identifications. But a spokesman for the Figueroa family confirmed to reporters at the city Medical Examiner’s office that Figueroa’s had been pulled from the wreckage.

Earlier Sunday, several members of Figueroa’s family visited the blast site in the East Village neighborhood, holding flowers and crying.

During the day, workers raked through piles of loose brick and wood; rescue workers sent search dogs over debris where three apartment buildings once stood.

Mayor Bill de Blasio said someone may have improperly tapped a gas line before the explosion that injured 22 people, four of them critically.

The blast happened a little over a year after a gas explosion in a building in East Harlem killed eight people and injured about 50. A gas leak was reported shortly before that blast.

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