Search and rescue workers sifting through mounds of rubble Sunday found two bodies believed to be those of the men missing since the explosion and fire that razed three East Village buildings last week.
FDNY Commissioner Dan Nigro said during a news conference that the bodies are believed to be the two men who were reported missing: Moises Locon and Nicholas Figueroa. Both bodies were found in the rubble of what had been a ground-floor sushi restaurant.
"They were found about 20 feet from one another," Nigro said. "The families of these people have been notified."
One body was discovered at about 1 p.m., about 20 feet from what had been the sushi restaurant's entrance, he said. The second body was recovered at about 3:40 p.m., about 20 feet further into the rubble.
Locon, 26, worked as a busboy at the restaurant. Figueroa had been there on a date with a woman who was injured in the blast. She was taken to a hospital. Her condition hasn't been disclosed.
The families of both men confirmed that the bodies were Locon and Figueroa.
Workers raked through piles of loose brick, wood and debris with tools and their hands and used dogs to search the rubble. Debris was inspected, and then placed in containers that were to be stored by the city, in case there was further need to examine them, a city official said.
Nigro said the search would continue, but it would be a "simpler operation."
"We continue to search although there are no other missing persons," he said. "Everyone who had been reported missing has now been found. The likelihood of anyone else being here is very small."
The gas blast on Second Avenue sparked a seven-alarm fire that injured more than two dozen people, including six firefighters and an EMS responder. Four were critically hurt.
Authorities are investigating whether the gas line in a basement below a sushi restaurant was rigged in a possible gas-theft scheme, causing the leak that may have set off the explosion. The Manhattan District Attorney's office has joined the NYPD, fire marshals and building inspectors in the probe.