8th Victim Identified in NYC Explosion, First Lawsuit Filed by Injured Victim

The eighth victim killed in the explosion and collapse of two buildings in Manhattan last week has been identified as a 34-year-old woman, as a lawyer for an injured victim said he had filed the first civil action in the disaster.

Mayumi Nakamura was identified as the eighth victim; police said she lived in the northernmost building of the two that were destroyed at 116th Street and Park Avenue. Authorities theorize a gas leak was the cause of the explosion.

Meanwhile a lawyer for a woman who says she was among the more than 70 people injured in the explosion filed a suit Monday alleging that Con Edison and the owner of the building were negligent and had previous knowledge of a "defective condition" on the property.

The complaint filed by attorney Michael Lamonsoff in state Supreme Court does not specify what previous knowledge the building owner and Con Edison are believed to have had. The utility, the NYPD and the FDNY have all said there was a call about a gas leak just minutes before the explosion, and before that, the last such call was in May.

There was no immediate comment from Con Edison.

The medical examiner said Monday that the eight people killed died of smoke inhalation or trauma to their bodies.

The other victims have been identified as Griselde Camacho, 44, Carmen Tanco, 67, Rosaura Hernandez, 22, Andreas Panagopoulos, 43, Rosaura Barrios Vazquez, 43, Alexis Salas, 22, and George Amadeo, 44.

Services for the victims began over the weekend with a joint gathering for Camacho and Tanco, who attended the same church. 

On Monday, a visitation was held for Amadeo, remembered as a "great guy, kind to everyone, funny," according to his cousin Roberto Amadeo.

"It's a lot to take in right now," said Roberto Amadeo. "It was so sudden for everyone." 

Electricity has been restored to five buildings that had outages after the explosion, but gas for cooking and heating remains turned off. One nearby building is also still without water.

The FDNY finished removing rubble over the weekend, and investigators are working to search for clues about the blast.

Truckloads of scattered material will be sifted for any traces of human remains that might not have been found at the site, the FDNY said. 

--Andrew Siff contributed to this story

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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