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Operation to Aid Victims of Harlem Building Explosion

Dana Gethers | 3/19/2014, 12:02 p.m.
Building collapse in East Harlem Photo by Stephon Johnson

Operation “East Harlem We Stand” is accepting donations for victims of the Harlem building explosion on March 12.

The explosion, caused by an unresolved gas leak, caused the collapse of two buildings resulting in eight deaths, more than 60 injuries and has left almost 100 Harlem residents displaced - including 14 families with children.

The East Harlem Merchant’s Association has set up a drop-off location for goods and services for anyone who would like to provide aid for the victims. They are encouraging donations of clothes, non-perishable goods, medical supplies, toys, and translation services.

“Many merchants in our great city have reached out to us to offer the East Harlem residents their help, we gladly accept,” said Ralph Benavides, President of the East Harlem Merchant’s Association.

Items and services can be dropped off at The Poets Den Gallery located at 309 East 108th Street between 1st and 2nd Avenue, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 7 p.m.

East Harlem We Stand, is not the only effort by New Yorkers to help the victims. Hunter College president, Jennifer J. Raab, released a statement that the college will continue to assist the family of one of the victims, Sgt. Griselde Camacho, 44, who served as a security officer at Hunter’s Silberman School of Social Work located in Harlem.

She encouraged Hunter College faculty, students, and alumni to contribute in a mass email and a statement on the school’s website.

“We have provided some initial emergency financial support to the family, who must now cope with the loss of their home and belongings as well as their grief. For those who would like to help support Griselde’s family, we invite you to donate to a fund we have established in Griselde’s name by clicking here or calling 212.650.3607,” wrote Raab.

All support will go to the families of the victims, identified as:

  • Andreas Panagopoulos, 43
  • George Ameado, 44
  • Rosaura Barrios, 44
  • Alexis Salas, 22
  • Rosaura Hernandez, 21
  • Carmen Tanco, 67
  • Griselde Camacho, 44
  • Mayumi Nakamura, 34