Emergency workers found a second body today in the mass of rubble left behind by an apparent gas explosion three days earlier in Manhattan's East Village, police say. The names of the two dead were not immediately released; a medical examiner was to determine the identifications. Authorities had been looking for signs of two missing men, both believed to have been inside a ground floor sushi restaurant at the time of the explosion: 26-year-old Moises Lucon, who worked at the restaurant, and 23-year-old Nicholas Figueroa, a bowling alley worker who had been there on a date. During the day, workers raked through piles of loose brick and wood; rescue workers sent search dogs over debris where three apartment buildings once stood.
Several members of Figueroa's family visited the blast site today, holding flowers and crying. Figueroa's brother, Neal, leaned over barricades and shouted pleas to emergency workers: "He's a strong man, I know he's in there! Don't give up, please find my brother." Authorities, however, acknowledged the chances of finding anyone alive were slim. Mayor Bill de Blasio said someone may have improperly tapped a gas line before the explosion that injured 22 people, four of them critically. Consolidated Edison had shut down the gas line to the restaurant for 10 days after finding it had been illegally tapped. Then they restored service, found new problems Thursday about an hour before the explosion, and locked the line, but apparently it was too late.