Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

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March 13, 2014

Searchers scour rubble after gas explosion kills 7

(Continued)

Hunter College identified one victim as Griselde Camacho, a security officer who worked at the Silberman School of Social Work building. Hunter, in a statement on its website, said Comacho, 45, had worked for the college since 2008.

Also killed was Carmen Tanco, 67, a dental hygienist. Her cousin News 12 cameraman Angel Vargas said the family started a frantic search when she didn't show up for work Wednesday.

New York police identified another victim as Rosaura Hernandez Barrios, 21.

The bodies of three unidentified people also were found. A man was pulled from the rubble just after midnight Wednesday, a woman found at about 2:50 a.m. Thursday and a man discovered about a half-hour later. The seventh victim, recovered around 7:15 a.m., was an adult male, police said.

At least three of the injured were children; one, a 15-year-old boy, was reported in critical condition with burns, broken bones and internal injuries. Most of the other victims' injuries were minor and included cuts and scrapes.

A tenant in one of the destroyed buildings, Ruben Borrero, said residents had complained to the landlord about smelling gas as recently as Tuesday.

A few weeks ago, Borrero said, city fire officials were called about the odor, which he said was so bad that a tenant on the top floor broke open the door to the roof for ventilation.

"It was unbearable," said Borrero, who lived in a second-floor apartment with his mother and sister, who were away at the time of the explosion. "You walk in the front door and you want to turn around and walk directly out."

The fire department said a check of its records found no instances in the past month in which tenants of the two buildings reported gas odors or leaks.

Jennifer Salas lived in one of the buildings. She told The New York Times that her husband, Jordy Salas, and their dog were in the building at the time of the collapse and were missing.

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