Sixth body found at explosion site: 1 missing man now found

AP News
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Posted: Aug 15, 2016 4:37 PM
Sixth body found at explosion site: 1 missing man now found

SILVER SPRING, Md. (AP) — The death toll has risen as searchers search the wreckage of an exploded Maryland apartment building.

Montgomery County Police said Monday that a sixth body has been found in the debris of the Flower Branch apartments in Silver Spring.

There is good news, too: Police said a 55-year-old man who had been unaccounted for, Oscar Ochoa, has been located unharmed.

Ochoa had moved out recently, but was still listed on lease records. Finding him reduces the missing from eight to seven.

The explosion at the four-story building Wednesday night shook homes more than a mile away. More than 30 people were injured, including three firefighters. Investigators are still probing for the cause; some residents reported smelling gas before the blast.

Police believe that the six bodies found correspond to those on the missing list, who range in age from three to 65. Their condition has prevented their identification thus far.

Searchers and investigators have been slowed by day after day of 100-degree heat, high humidity and dangerous conditions. The remains of the building have been in danger of total collapse.

Fire and Rescue spokesman Pete Piringer said 50 to 60 fire and rescue workers, along with members of the state fire marshal's office and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives were searching "brick-by-brick" on Monday.