Tag Archives: guatemala

Body pulled from East Village explosion site believed to be Queens man

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos via Facebook

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.

Moises Ismael Locón Yac

Moises Ismael Locón Yac

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.

Photo via Twitter/@NYCMayorsOffice

Photo via Twitter/@NYCMayorsOffice


Star of Queens: Lauren Laurelli, student volunteer

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com


COMMUNITY SERVICE: Lauren Laurelli did not spend her spring break partying like some college students. She spent her vacation in Guatemala, helping improve the quality of life for those less fortunate. Laurelli went with a group from St. John’s University to the village of San Lucas, a faith-based community with their church in the center of their everyday life.

“We did a variety of activities based on what the town and mission needed,” Laurelli said.

Some of these tasks included picking out rocks from the dirt so the natives could lay down turf for a soccer field sorting coffee beans and carrying buckets of rocks out of an abandoned building so they could start building, planting grass and planting trees.

“I really fell in love with the people of the town because from the beginning they were so kind, welcoming and caring,” she said.

BACKGROUND: Laurelli is a senior at St. John’s in the Speech-Language Pathology program. She is originally from Lynbrook, New York.

INSPIRATION: Laurelli says she has been involved with community service for most of her life. “I can remember enjoying doing volunteer work since middle school,” she said. Laurelli said her inspiration to spend her spring break helping out came because the culture of Guatemala was something that fascinated her.

FAVORITE MEMORY: Laurelli said her favorite memory in Guatemala came when she spent a day at one of the native children’s 11th birthday party.



Queens Morning Roundup

| brennison@queenscourier.com


Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 42. North wind around 5 mph becoming light and variable in the afternoon. Thursday night: Partly cloudy, with a low around 37. South wind 3 to 7 mph.

EVENT of the DAY: 2nd Annual Figgy Pudding Short Play Fest

Laugh and drink with Unity Stage Company as you enjoy these eight short ho-ho-holiday plays.  Click here for more info or to submit an event of your own

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