29 Mar 2015 06:26 PM EST
-by Anthony Bell, Contributing Writer; Image: The FDNY was searching through rubble on Sunday after the explosion levelled three buildings on 2nd Avenue in the East Village. (Image Source: FDNY on Twitter)
Two bodies have been recovered on Sunday after last week’s explosion and fire in the East Village that destroyed three buildings on Second Avenue.
Police report that rescue workers discovered the two bodies among the wreckage. Two men were also reported missing in the aftermath of the explosion, which injured 22 people on Thursday afternoon.
Nicholas Figueroa, 23, and Moises Ismael Locón Yac, 27, were reported missing in the incident. Figueroa was on a lunch date at Sushi Park, where the fire began, while Yac was a busboy at the popular Japanese restaurant.
The identities of the found bodies have not yet been determined, police say they have been taken to the medical examiner’s office for identification.
The first body was discovered at around 1 p.m. Sunday. Figueroa’s brother Neal was at the scene when he heard the news.
“That doesn’t mean he’s dead; that doesn’t mean he’s our brother,” he said, according to the New York Times. “Nicholas, come home; we’re here for you!”
He threw white roses into the intersection and thanked rescue workers.
The second body was found at about 4 p.m.
According to officials, the fire was most likely sparked by a natural gas explosion after a leak. The city’s Department of Investigation and the Manhattan district attorney’s office looking into the incident.
Four buildings in total were engulfed in flames, and119, 121 and 123 Second Avenue were levelled.
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