A gas line exploded and destroyed two buildings in the East Harlem section of New York City. The first floors of the buildings had a piano store and the Spanish Christian Church. The explosion took eight lives and injured scores more. The people who died are a cross-section of New Yorkers. This is a city that hosts people from all over the world.
These are the eight who died:
George Amadeo, 44, was a native-New Yorker of Puerto Rican background. He was looking for work. Their family lived in the apartment for three generations. A friend said he was a passionate, stubborn and excitable man who enjoyed politics, religion, music and math.
Carmen Tanco, 67, was a dental hygienist. She helped serve breakfast at the church on the first floor on Sunday mornings. She even brought fresh fruit from home for the pastor.
Griselde Camacho, 44, was a campus security guard. She helped the church with slide shows and presentations.
Rosaura Barrios Vázquez, 43, and her daughter Rosaura Hernández Barrios, 21, both died. The family was from Ciudad Serdán in the Mexican state of Puebla. They will be buried in Mexico. Rosaura B’s husband was at work as a line cook. Their daughter Rosaura H was studying to be a cook.
Jordy Salas, 22, was a Sunday school teacher and college student. He leaves his parents and wife Jennifer, who is pregnant.
Andreas Panagopoulos, 43, lived with his Venezuelan wife, Liseth Perez-Almeida, an editor at El Diario. He will be buried in Greece.
Mayumi Nakamura, 34, was an artist. She lived in the building with roommates. She came to New York from Yamaguchi, Japan. Her mother said, “She was very happy in New York.” She told her mother, “It is very beautiful here and I like it.”
New York is the most diverse city in the country. East Harlem is like many neighborhoods. It is changing. Immigrants and young people are moving in. When a tragedy such as this happens, it takes the lives of people from everywhere.
Source: The New York Times March 18, 2014