East Harlem explosion: More on the victims

Marcus Solis reports from East Harlem explosion site.
March 14, 2014 12:06:57 PM PDT
Seven of the bodies were recovered from the rubble of the East Harlem explosion have been identified, and we are learning more about them.


  • Carmen Tanco, 67
  • Griselde Camacho, 44
  • Rosaura Hernandez-Barrios, 21
  • Andreas Panagopoulos, 42
  • Alexis Salas, 22
  • Rosaura Barrios, 44
  • George Amadeo, 44


    The eighth body, which was recovered Thursday night, has not yet been identified.

    On Thursday night, the Harlem community turned to their faith for strength and support as ministers and their faithful prayed for the victim of this tragedy and their families.

    Griselde Camacho and Carmen Tanco were members of the Bethel Gospel Assembly, located in a building a few blocks from the scene of Wednesday's explosion, church officials said. They were remembered as active, well-loved members of their church.

    Friends said Tanco, 67, a dental hygienist, had gone on medical missions with the church to South Africa, Nigeria and the Dominican Republic. She had been planning to return to the Dominican Republic in July for another mission.

    Associate pastor Gordon Williams said Tanco was known as "Auntie" to just about everybody. He said Tanco had told him she was planning to take a little bottle filled with coins on the trip to give to children or anyone else who might need them.

    "She was always looking to bless and help and be there," Williams said.

    Camacho, 45, a public safety officer at Hunter College, volunteered as an audio-visual technician at the church, operating the PowerPoint presentations during Bishop Carlton T. Brown's sermons.

    Brown said Camacho was "always seeking to do her best, eager to serve, eager to please."

    Hunter College President Jennifer Raab called Camacho "a well-liked member of our community, a respected officer and a welcoming presence at our Silberman building."

    Bethel Gospel Assembly director of ministry relations Ruth-Ann Wynter said Camacho was a single mother of a teenage son.

    A cousin of Tanco's, television cameraman Angel Vargas, said Tanco moved to New York from Puerto Rico around 1970. He said she had been married and divorced and had no children.

    Vargas said Tanco was a cherished presence at family gatherings over the years.

    "She was always that person who would get up and dance and have fun with everyone," he said. "She was the life of the party."

    Rosaura Hernandez-Barrios, 21, was a promising line chef at Triomphe restaurant.

    "We were impressed with her raw talent, and we gave her a permanent position," her general manager said.

    Her mother, 44-year-old Rosaura Barrios, was also killed. Her 15-year-old brother Oscar remains hospitalized.

    The family of 43-year-old Andreas Panagopoulos, a Greek musician who worked in advertising, said they positively identified his body at the Medical Examiner's Office Thursday.

    Evangelos Alkimos describes his friend as a very creative and amazing musician who played guitar and keyboard.

    "We're just so, so sad for this loss,it's unbelievable," he said.

    Panagopoulos and his wife lived in a third-floor apartment.

    "It was devastating, it was so random," cousin Socrates Nanas said. "I feel like I need to be woken up from this nightmare."

    George Ameado, 44, was a handyman who lived in one of the buildings that collapsed, and Alexis Salas, 22, was a John Jay College student who worked at a restaurant.

    Some information from the Associated Press.