The death toll from the East Harlem explosion rose to 7 Thursday as workers continued the grim work of searching through the wreckage. 

The body was found at 7:12 a.m. in the rubble of two five-story buildings on Park Ave., an NYPD spokesman said. Police had not yet identified the body. 

Previously, authorities had said four women and two men had died in the explosion that also left more than 50 injured. 

The blast at 9:31 a.m. Wednesday occurred with barely any warning — Con Edison had received a complaint of an odor of gas in the area only 18 minutes before the buildings were leveled.

“I can only imagine knowing that at any moment you might find a body, how difficult that is,” de Blasio said. “I admire the work you guys do. I really do. It’s not easy. Thank God you do.”

Firefighters remove a body of one of the victims buried under the rubble.

ANTHONY DELMUNDO/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Firefighters remove a body of one of the victims buried under the rubble.

PHOTOS: TWO BUILDINGS COLLAPSE FOLLOWING DEADLY GAS EXPLOSION IN HARLEM

Firehoses continued to douse the site, parts of which were still smoldering.

Fire Chief of Department Edward Kilduff told the de Blasio and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito that about one floor of debris remained.

“Our biggest concern now is the free-standing wall in the back. That was a little more solid last night, but it burned overnight,” said Kilduff.

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“You have to protect your guys,” de Blasio replied.

Previously, authorities had said four women and two men had died. 

Smoke from the site of the explosion still lingered nearly 24 hours after the blast.

MARK LENNIHAN/AP

Smoke from the site of the explosion still lingered nearly 24 hours after the blast.

Three were identified as Griselde  Camacho, 44, Carmen Tanco, 67, and Rosaura Hernandez-Barrios, 21.

 

 

 
 

A woman frantically trying to reach a family member; victims being transported on stretchers; crews work on putting out the fire.

 

 Five people remain unaccounted for, according to a police spokesman.

“It’s difficult for something like this to happen in your neighborhood, it hurts your heart. You look around and you just see sad, sad, sad,” said Jose Rivera, 50, who works in Manhattan criminal court and lives nearby on East 117th St. 

“These people live so close to you everyday…and to see this, it’s just hard.”

RELATED: 2 BUILDINGS COLLAPSE, 6 DEAD AFTER MASSIVE EXPLOSION IN EAST HARLEM

The Daily News tallied 54 injured from the explosion at area hospitals.

People on their morning commutes near the blast site wore dust masks.

MARK LENNIHAN/AP

People on their morning commutes near the blast site wore dust masks.

At Mt. Sinai 19 of the 26 patients treated there had been discharged. The most seriously hurt victim there, a woman with head trauma, remains in critical condition, according to a spokeswoman. 

Congressman Charlie Rangel (D-Harlem) also stopped by the site, hailing the work of first responders as “absolutely terrific.”

RELATED: THE CITY, CRUMBLING BENEATH OUR FEET

“The community has opened up their hearts,” he said as many passersby on their morning commutes wore dust masks.

“The people who are alive are thanking God they’re alive.”

Shortly after the explosion Rangel called it the community’s “9/11,” which drew some criticism.

RELATED: ALL TOO SUDDEN DEATH

Firefighters raced to dig through the rubble and battle lingering fires in the wake of the massive explosion.

JAMES KEIVOM/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Firefighters raced to dig through the rubble and battle lingering fires in the wake of the massive explosion.

“Some people didn’t think so but that was the first thing I thought,” he said.

The blast at 9:31 a.m. Wednesday occurred with barely any warning — Con Edison had received a complaint of an odor of gas in the area only 18 minutes before the buildings were leveled.

Authorities said 250 firefighters fought the five-alarm blaze.

 

 
 

 

Hundreds of firefighters remained there  working overnight, using a massive claw to lift wreckage and sift through debris as heavy smoke continued to waft down E. 116th St.

Cadaver dogs nosed around the rubble. An idling medical examiner’s van awaited more tragic cargo.

Metro-North trains, which had been suspended following the explosion, rumbled by the wreckage.

Odalys Sanchez, 14, said her mother, Lorena Sanchez, who works in a coffee cart on Lexington Ave. and E. 116 St. hated  seeing her customers in distress.

“My mom was sad today. She felt the cart shake during the explosion,” Sanchez said. 

“Some of her customers lived there, she saw them taken away on stretchers on the news.”

With Rocco Parascandola, Irving DeJohn, Thomas Tracy and Barry Paddock

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/uptown/death-toll-rises-7-east-harlem-explosion-article-1.1720134#ixzz2vrANpuDr

 

 

 

Read more: This is a link to www.nydailynews.com/new-york/uptown/death-toll-rises-7-east-harlem-explosion-article-1.1720134#ixzz2vqN6jZpr

Read more: http://www.wbls.com/news/2014/03/13/at-least-7-confirmed-dead-several-still-missing-as-rescuers-continue-search-for-survivors-after-massive-gas-explosion-levels-two-buildings#ixzz2vrABEJqm

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