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Several Immigrants Among The Dead In ‘El Barrio’ Tragedy

Mayor Bill de Blasio in Spanish Harlem on Thursday, March 13, 2014.

Mayor Bill de Blasio in Spanish Harlem on Thursday, March 13, 2014.

News Americas, HARLEM, NY, Fri. Mar. 14, 2014: Mourning stretched its ugly tentacles to Mexico, Puerto Rico and Greece from El Barrio Spanish Harlem, New York Thursday, as more victims of the March 12th building explosion at 1644 and 1646 Park Avenue, New York were identified.

The death toll yesterday officially reached eight with three Mexican and one Greek immigrant joining two Puerto Rican nationals among the lost.

The newly released victims are Mexican immigrants Rosaura Barrios, 44 and her daughter, Rosaura Hernandez-Barrios, 22 as well as Alexis “Jordy” Salas, also 22.

Salas, who moved to the U.S. from Mexico, was a musician and a junior at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Hernandez-Barrios was a line-cook at Triomphe Restaurant in the Iroquois Hotel. She and her mother immigrated from Mexico and were members of the 80-year-old church downstairs at 1646 Park Avenue.

Greek immigrant Andreas Panagopoulos also lost his life when the building exploded on Wednesday. His wife, Liseth Perez-Almeida is pregnant and spent Thursday arranging to fly her husband’s body back to Greece. The couple had been together for 13 years and married for eight and Panagopoulos had worked from their East Harlem home for an online site that manages a film and photography directory.

The grim search of the rubble on Park Ave. continued into Thursday, March 13, 2014. (Reuters image)

The grim search of the rubble on Park Ave. continued into Thursday, March 13, 2014. (Reuters image)

Puerto Rico nationals, 44-year-old Griselde Camacho, a public safety officer at Hunter College and 67-year-old Carmen Tanco, a dental hygienist, add to the death total to date.

Camacho, Tanco, Salas and Hernandez-Barrios lived at 1644 Park Avenue while Panagopoulos and Amadeo lived at 1646 Park Avenue.

44-year-old George Amadeo, is the seventh victim while the eighth victim has not been identified.

Hospitals reported receiving 74 people injured, including one teen and one woman who were both critically hurt. Several more are displaced and a Red Cross center for those affected is being operated out of the Salvation Army Community Corps Center, located at 175 E. 125th Street.

No official cause of the buildings collapse has been given but Con Edison said it is working closely with federal, state and local agencies on the investigation into the buildings explosion and collapse.

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), on Thursday evening said it is still too dangerous to examine the site.

The explosion occurred at about 9:31 a.m. on Wednesday and shook the East Harlem neighborhood shortly after a resident complained to the Con Edison utility about a gas odor.