The family of Moises Ismael Locón Yac, a Guatemalan immigrant and hard-working busboy from Queens, remains in limbo as they await word confirming the identity of one of two bodies found Sunday in the remaining rubble of last week’s East Village explosion.
Locón, who according to published reports lived in Elmhurst with his cousin, was working at the restaurant Sushi Park, which was located on the ground floor of the building at 121 Second Ave. when the explosion occurred Thursday afternoon.
The blast and ensuing fire left 22 people injured, three apartment buildings destroyed and two men missing – 27-year-old Locón and 23-year-old East Harlem resident Nicholas Figueroa.
“I have a pain in my heart – for him and for the other families who don’t know where their loved ones are,” Pablo Yac, Locón’s cousin, told The New York Times the day after the explosion.
On Sunday, authorities discovered two bodies, the first about 20 feet from the entrance of Sushi Park and the other 20 feet back from the first, according to FDNY Commissioner Dan Nigro.
Relatives of Figueroa, who reportedly was at Sushi Park on a lunch date, identified one of the bodies to be that of the recent college graduate.
The second body, which investigators reportedly believe to be that of Locón, would need to be identified using DNA testing, which could take about a week.
“We are sad. Very, very sad. We don’t know yet if that’s him. I just want to know right now,” Alfredo, one of Locón’s brothers, told the New York Post at the family home in Elmhurst on Sunday.
Locón, who comes from a family of nine in Guatemala, was working to save money and return to his home country to reunite with his girlfriend, according to published reports.
Locón’s family plans to bury him in Guatemala pending DNA results, according to NBC New York.
Although the investigation is still ongoing to find out the cause of the March 26 explosion, reports have said that authorities suspect it could have been a gas line illegally tapped in the basement of the Second Avenue building.