Police said they believe the victims are among eight people who remain unaccounted for in rubble of an apartment explosion, in Silver Spring

Silver Spring, MD (NBC4)―Montgomery County officials said a fifth body has been found in the rubble of an explosion and fire of an apartment building in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Police said a fifth victim was found on Sunday afternoon.

A fourth victim was found on Saturday, police said Sunday morning. The bodies have been taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore, where three other bodies found at the scene Thursday and Friday were transported.

Police said they believe the four victims are among the eight people reported missing who were presumed to be in the apartment building at the time of the blast. But officials have not been able to positively identify the bodies.

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The missing have been identified as Saeda Ibrahim, 41; Augusto Jimenez Sr., age 62; Maria Auxiliadorai Castellon-Martinez, age 53; Aseged Mekonen, age 34; Deibi “David” Samir Lainez Morales, age 8; Oscar Armando Ochoa, age 55 – NOTE: No photo available; Fernando Josue Hernandez Orellana, age 3; and Saul Paniagua, age 65.

Officials said the search for more victims has been slowed by the unstable condition of the building, as well as the extreme heat conditions.

The apartment explosion and fire on Aug. 11 injured 31 residents. Three firefighters were also hurt battling the blaze.

The blast at the Flower Branch Apartments in the 8700 block of Arliss Street occurred around 11:50 p.m. Thursday night. Residents reported smelling gas before the explosion, and officials responded to calls for a potential gas leak at the complex on July 25.

Source: NBC4 Washington
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