6th Body Found Days After Md. Apartment Blast; 8 Still Missing - NBC Southern California
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6th Body Found Days After Md. Apartment Blast; 8 Still Missing

Police said they believe the victims are among seven people who remain unaccounted for



    Sixth Body Recovered From Silver Spring Apartment Explosion

    A sixth body has been recovered from the rubble in Silver Spring after an apartment building explosion last week. Investigators are still trying to figure out what caused the blast. News4's Derrick Ward reports. (Published Monday, Aug. 15, 2016)

    A sixth body has been found in the rubble of an explosion and fire at an apartment building in Silver Spring, Maryland, Montgomery County officials said.

    The sixth victim was found Monday.

    Police believe the six victims are among seven men, women and children who were presumed to be in the apartment building at the time of the blast. But officials have not been able to positively identify the bodies.

    The missing have been identified as Saeda Ibrahim, 41; Augusto Jimenez Sr., age 62; Maria Auxiliadorai Castellon-Martinez, age 53; Aseged Mekonen, age 34; Deibi “David” Samir Lainez Morales, age 8; Fernando Josue Hernandez Orellana, age 3; and Saul Paniagua, age 65.

    Police previously released the name of an eighth person who they believed was missing, but that man has since come forward. He had moved out of the building before the explosion and fire.

    The search for more victims was slowed by the unstable condition of the building, as well as the extreme heat conditions, officials said, but the building has been shored up.

    The explosion and fire injured 31 residents. Three firefighters were also hurt battling the blaze.

    The blast at the Flower Branch Apartments in the 8700 block of Arliss Street occurred around 11:50 p.m. Wednesday night. Residents reported smelling gas before the explosion, and officials responded to calls for a potential gas leak at the complex on July 25.

    The cause of the explosion and fire is still under investigation.