Police say a body has been discovered in the rubble of an apparent gas explosion that leveled three buildings in Manhattan’s East Village. The identification process is pending, reports WABC-TV New York.
Two men in their 20’s have been unaccounted for since the blast: Nicholas Figueroa and Moises Lucon.
Some of the debris from the site is being taken to a secure location where it will be examined again for any human remains.
City officials say 730 cubic yards of debris has been sifted twice-on site, put into containers and removed.
The cleanup is scheduled to take up to a week but could be done as early as Tuesday. Searchers have encountered sections of debris that are still smoldering.
Meanwhile, city officials say criminal charges could be filed as a result of the explosion. Sources say investigators with the Manhattan District Attorney’s office are now fully engaged.
Nearly 60 firefighters remained on site to target hot spots and to carefully sift through the rubble, along with emergency response teams and specially trained dogs, searching for anyone who is possibly trapped below.
Meanwhile, Mayor Bill de Blasio made a special visit to Engine 33 to personally thank some of the first responders who showed bravery under pressure, including Mike Shepherd, who climbed up a fire escape looking through the apartments.
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