8 Killed in Explosion Include Mother and Daughter, Father-to-Be

Friday, Mar 14, 2014  |  Updated 10:35 PM EDT
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    Authorities have identified seven of the eight victims recovered from the rubble of two collapsed Manhattan buildings destroyed by a gas leak explosion Wednesday, including a mother and daughter who died together and a 22-year-old man whose wife is six months pregnant. 

    Police said early Friday that no one else is missing in the smoldering rubble.

    Alexis Salas was last seen Wednesday morning when he returned home from his night job at a Bronx restaurant, according to his father-in-law, Jorge Ortega. Salas' 20-year-old wife, Jennifer Mendoza, is pregnant.

    He died along with Rosaura Hernandez Barrios, 22, who worked as a line cook at Triomphe Restaurant in the Iroquois Hotel. Her mother, Rosaura Barrios Vazquez, 43, was also killed.

    The daughter worked at the restaurant just under two years, hotel general manager Robert Holmes said. He called her death "truly a terrible loss."

    He said she was "calm, cool and collected" in the demanding restaurant environment.

    Mexico's consul general in New York said Hernandez was born in the United States. Her body will be flown to Mexico City at the government's expense.

    Her mother's body will also be flown to Mexico.

    George Amadeo was also confirmed dead in the explosion. The handyman lived in one of the buildings that collapsed, and he hadn't been seen since the explosion. 

    The FDNY also found the remains of his family dog Blackie, according to Amadeo's family. 

    Amadeo's brother Victor Garcia says viewings will be held at the Ortiz Funeral Home on East 116th Street next Monday and Tuesday, and the funeral will be held Wednesday morning at Saint Raymond in the Bronx. 

    Another victim, Griselde Camacho, 44, was a sergeant with Hunter College's public safety authority and was assigned to the Silberman School of Social Work building, at 119th Street and Third Avenue, according to the school, not far from where she lived on Park Avenue. 

    Camacho had been employed by Hunter College since 2008. The school says it is planning to hold a memorial for Camacho. 

    "It was just horrific, and we've talked about it in every single one of our classes," said faculty member Igor Malinovsky. 

    "She was a wonderful person," he added. "I'm really saddened." 

    Across the street from where she worked, a deli worker said Camacho always had a smile on her face when came into the store. 

    "She was always happy, always happy with her job, her friends, her family," he said. "Everybody knew her. The whole block knew her." 

    The second victim identified in the explosion, Carmen Tanco, 67, was in her apartment at the time of the explosion, according to News 12, where one of her cousins works as a cameraman. 

    News 12 reports that Tanco's family set off on a frantic search when she didn't show up for work Wednesday. 

    Camacho and Tanco attended the same church, Bethel Gospel Assembly, according to the bishop. Both regularly volunteered their time there, Camacho working in the AV room to project visuals during the bishop's sermons and Tanco as an usher. 

    Tanco was involved in international mission trips, where she volunteered her dental assistant services, according to associate pastor Gordon Williams. He said people touched by her services overseas have been contacting the church. 

    "They've called me from overseas because they're stunned that this actually occurred," he said. 

    Andreas Panagopoulos, 43, who was among the four victims pulled from rubble overnight Wednesday, was identified as a fourth victim Thursday. Friends and family had been searching for the musician since the building collapsed, frantically sending out messages on social media, including one that read:  "Please RT if you've seen him in NYC hospitals. Name is Andreas, was in Harlem building that collapsed." 

    The identity of the eighth victim hasn't been released. 

    More than 70 others were hurt in the blast. 

    --Checkey Beckford, Marc Santia and Chris Glorioso contributed to this report. 

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