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Clergy Members Hold Vigil In Wake Of East Harlem Explosion

Members of the Friendly Hands Ministry church take part in a Vigil next to a site of an explosion in East Harlem on March 13, 2014 in New York City. At least 8 people were killed, according to reports, in Wednesday's explosion which collapsed two buildings on Park Avenue at 116th Street. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

Members of the Friendly Hands Ministry church take part in a Vigil next to a site of an explosion in East Harlem on March 13, 2014 in New York City. At least 8 people were killed, according to reports, in Wednesday’s explosion which collapsed two buildings on Park Avenue at 116th Street. (Photo by Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — About two dozen clergy members and community leaders ignored the freezing weather and gathered at 116th Street and Lexington Avenue for a prayer vigil just one day after an explosion leveled two buildings in East Harlem, killing at least eight people.

As WCBS 880′s Peter Haskell reported Thursday, the Rev. Joanne Santana, of the House of Restoration church on Staten Island, was one of a number of clergy members in attendance.

“We’re here to unite for the community, for the people. To let them know they are not alone,” Santana said.

Bishop Annette Jimene, of Christian church I’m Still Standing, told Haskell she knows people are hurting.

“We are prepared to give them counseling and whatever they may need, we’re here to provide that,” she said.

At the vigil were those who knew some of the victims. There was tribute and praise Griselde Camacho, 44, a public safety officer for Hunter College.

“She always had a smile. She always had something nice to say,” said Annette Jimenez, a friend of Camacho’s.

The fierce, bitter cold wind kept white candles from being lit at the vigil, CBS 2’s Dave Carlin reported. But clergy and neighbors still prayed for strength for the prolonged grief and long recovery.

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