SILVER SPRING, Md. - A seventh body has been located at the site of Flower Branch Apartments in Silver Spring where an explosion and fire occurred nearly a week ago, Montgomery County police said.
Recovery crews continued their efforts on Tuesday amid the heat as they continued to search for more possible victims in the rubble of the destroyed apartment complex. Seven people have been reported missing and seven bodies have now been found. Investigators have not yet identified the victims located so far. Police said the search and recovery efforts will continue on Wednesday.
On Tuesday, Maryland Senator Benjamin Cardin toured the site after meeting with the 56 residents still staying at the community center's temporary shelter. He also vowed federal partners will help displaced residents in the immigrant community who have lost their legal documents. Cardin reiterated that people don't need to fear asking for help.
A number of groups have been offering food, shelter and so much more to the residents who called this building home. But six days after this building exploded in the middle of the night, some said they now need counseling because they and their children are so afraid, they can’t close their eyes and fall asleep at night.
“All I know is that I can’t sleep, I constantly have these anxious thoughts in the back of my head, we have thoughts, what if this happened in my building?” said Christie Canjura, 15, whose father allowed her to talk with reporters and came to the Long Branch community center looking for help.
Canjura’s apartment was behind the one that exploded into a fireball around midnight Wednesday night.
“We were looking for medical help -- most of us, we cannot sleep, we cannot do regular things, we simply can’t go through our day without thinking about that traumatic experience that we all had that night," she said.
Canjura was not alone. One resident brought his whole family to the community center because they are so fearful, saying they have not been able to sleep good because they are thinking they are going to get a bomb again.
The anxiety is understandable to anyone who has seen the pile of rubble that was home to many residents. Cardin told FOX 5 that one resident said on Tuesday that they have a disabled child and they need to be at a facility that can handle disabled children. Another person asked Cardin if they could go back into the rubble and try to find their possessions.
Washington Gas said it has finished testing the buildings' infrastructure and they are good. They also said they have surveyed the area and have not located any gas leaks. Residents remain concerned and want to know a cause of the explosion. Officials are hoping to have that by the end of the week and they hope to identify victims in the next few days.