NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Two bodies have been found in the rubble of last week’s East Village building explosion, police said.
The bodies were discovered about two hours apart from each other Sunday afternoon.
Two men went missing Thursday when the blast and fire leveled three apartment buildings on Second Avenue at East Seventh Street.
Though police have not released the identities of the deceased, Tyler Figueroa confirmed one of the two found is his brother, 23-year-old Nicholas Figueroa, CBS2’s Matt Kozar reported.
“I know that since he’s not alive he still in our hearts and that he will always be there, and God has another angel to look after,” Tyler Figueroa said.
The other body is believed to be 26-year-old Moises Locon.
His family provided the medical examiner with DNA samples to help identify the remains. It could take up to a week before they have a definite answer, Kozar reported.
The two men were believed to have been in the sushi restaurant on the ground floor of one of the collapsed buildings.
PHOTOS: East Village Explosion
During a news conference Sunday, FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said the bodies were found about 20 feet away from each other.
Firefighters using binoculars from the upper floors of a building next to the debris pile spotted the bodies.
Nigro said they don’t expect to find any more victims.
“Two people that have been reported missing, we think we found those two,” Nigro told reporters, including 1010 WINS’ Roger Stern.
Emergency workers had been painstakingly looking for signs of the two, scooping through piles of loose brick, wood and debris with their hands and using dogs to search the debris. Authorities acknowledged the chances of finding either person alive were slim.
An official with knowledge of the operation told The Associated Press that rubble removed from the scene was being taken to a secure location to be screened again for human remains.