NYC Pastors Rally Behind Church Lost in Blast
New York City firefighters began their workday Friday with hope of still of finding survivors from Wednesday's deadly gas explosion in East Harlem.
Rescue workers searched a pile of rubble with sound devices to probe for voices and telescopic cameras to peer into small spaces. At least eight people are confirmed dead.
Two of the victims are Griselde Camacho, 44, and Carmen Tanco. Camacho was a public safety officer and Tanco was a dental hygienist.
Both woman are being remembered as active members of Bethel Gospel Assembly, the church they attended just a few blocks from the explosion site.
Meanwhile, New York City ministers are rallying around the church that lost everything in the deadly blast.
Spanish Christian Church occupied the first floor of one the two buildings leveled by the explosion. Pastor Thomas Perez lost five church members who lived in the apartments above the church.
In a brief interview, Perez, who said his church plans to rebuild, told reporters, "I know that everything is in God's hands."
Thursday morning, area ministers began holding round-the-clock prayer vigils for the church. Pastor William Devlin from Infinity Church in the Bronx is leading the effort.
"We have all gathered together to support Pastor Thomas Perez," Devlin told CBN News. "He is an older gentleman in his 70s. The church had been there for 80 years...they really have been salt and light here in the community of East Harlem."
"The pastor is very concerned about the future of the church and what it is going to mean for him and where it is going to go," he continued. "The immediate need is to pray for them because there were apartments above the church that some of the congregants and parishoners lived in."
Investigators later confirmed that at lease five church members were killed.