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EXCLUSIVE: Two Good Samaritans save child from East Harlem building collapse

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NEW YORK (PIX11) — Two men say they rescued a little child  — still carrying a PlayStation controller in his hands — from the rubble of the East Harlem building explosion Wednesday morning.

“The [child] was on top of all the rocks. We just started digging rocks out, and tried to bring [the child] out,”  said Alex Camilo, one of the two Good Samaritans. “The child wasn’t moving but he was looking at us .. [the child] had to be about 7 or 10 years old.” [They identified the child as a boy, but an official told PIX11 News the child is a girl.]


David Cesario , left, and Alex Camilo rescued the child from the rubble. (Mario Diaz/PIX11 News)

“Everybody was just taking pictures in their phones and nobody was helping … everybody was either running away or recording,” Camilo added.

The gas-leak explosion happened on 116th Street and Park Avenue just after 9:30 a.m., according to officials. A five-alarm fire continues to rage at the site of the explosion, which killed two people and injured 18 others. A number of people are still missing, the mayor said.

David Cesario, of the Bronx, and Camilo, of Washington Heights, were across the street at a construction site when they heard the explosion.

Cesario described what he saw as he started digging out the child from underneath the bricks.

The child “had a controller for the PlayStation in his hand.”

Cesario said the child looked up at him and asked him to help . He told the child, “let’s go outside because the fire won’t stop.”


  • LenMe

    That's the problem nowadays… people and their "smart" phones. They prefer their 5 seconds of fame on You Tube to actually helping another human being. Kudos to these two men who probably saved that child's life.

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