It could take a week, working around the clock, to comb through the rubble of Thursday’s apparent gas explosion that destroyed three lower Manhattan apartment buildings and injured 22 people, FDNY Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro said Saturday.
“It’s going to be slow and arduous to dig out, search through the rubble,” Nigro said after visiting a firehouse near the blast with New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. “They’re searching very carefully, so it’ll be a week’s operation, day and night for us to go through it. We’re still looking for two missing persons.”
Authorities Saturday used heavy equipment to continue to comb the rubble, and cadaver dogs looked for signs of life or human remains. Officials have identified the missing men as Nicholas Figueroa, 23, and Moises Lucon, 23. Both men were inside a sushi restaurant on the ground floor at 121 Second Ave. when the building collapsed shortly after 3 p.m. Thursday.
Lucon, who moved to New York City about six years ago from Guatemala, worked at the restaurant. Figueroa, who worked at a bowling alley at Chelsea Piers, was on a blind date at the time of the explosion, his family said.
American Red Cross workers supplied snacks to first-responders who sifted through the rubble and comforted a man identified as Lucon’s brother a block from the scene. The man, overcome with emotion, cried and cupped his face with his hands near a Red Cross van.
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SOURCE: Newsday, Darran Simon