EAST HARLEM (PIX11) – The explosion in East Harlem has shattered lives and battered a community.
It’s been six days since two Park Avenue buildings at E 116th street exploded. Eight people died. Dozens were injured. Investigators continue their work to isolate an exact cause of the explosion.
The NYPD identified the 8th victim Monday. According to the NYPD, Mayumi Nakamura, 34, lived in 1646 Park Avenue.
And it’s going to take some time for this community to recover. The lack of customers may be hurting businesses, but the owners and workers have said the loss of life hurts much more.
“One of the guys that passed away with his dog used to come and up and down these stairs every day. And now it’s something we are going to have to get used to. We are not going to seem him anymore,” Eric Veras said. His shop is half a block away.
While some people have been able to return home, many others are still displaced. Barricades are everywhere. So are police and fire fighters. But even when the emergency workers leave and traffic returns, according to Veras, it won’t be normal. “The area is not going to be the same. There are people missing.”
The Medical Examiner released Monday how 7 of the victims died. The cause of death was either blunt force trauma, burns or smoke inhalation.
“All the local stores and community people have been affected by this tragedy. It was never expected. It shouldn’t have really happened,” longtime East Harlem resident Alfred Ragucci said.