East Harlem is in mourning as authorities begin identifying the victims who died in the explosion that rocked the neighborhood and collapsed two buildings on Wednesday.
One of the first victims named is 44-year-old Griselde Camacho, a resident of one of the two buildings that were destroyed on the corner of 116th Street and Park Avenue in Manhattan.
Here is what you need to know about Camacho and the aftermath of her passing:
1. She Was a Public Safety Officer at Hunter College
Camacho became a public safety officer at Hunter College in 2008. She worked most commonly at the Silberman School of Social Work located on Third avenue at 119th street, only about five blocks from her home.
2. She Was a Member of the Bethel Gospel Assembly
Newsday reports that, like many others in her building, Camacho was a member of the historic and popular Bethel Gospel Assembly. The church is located on 120th Street and Madison Avenue, about seven blocks from where she lived. In her spare time, she volunteered for the church’s video department.
3. Hunter College’s President Remembered Her as a ‘Welcoming Presence’
After Camacho was identified, the Hunter College community rallied together to remember her. The president of the college, Jennifer Raab, released the following statement on the Hunter College webpage last night:
Our Hunter family is in mourning for Sgt. Griselde Camacho, a public safety officer at our East Harlem campus since 2008, who was lost in the Harlem building explosion on March 12.
Griselde was a well-liked member of our community, a respected officer and a welcoming presence at our Silberman building. Our deepest sympathies go out to her family, and we are committed to doing everything we can to support them in their time of great emotional need.
We also know this is a difficult time for all those who knew and worked with Sergeant Camacho. All of you will be in our thoughts in the days ahead.
We will update you with additional information about memorial services and ways in which we will honor her memory and her service to Hunter.
Jennifer J. Raab
4. A Facebook Memorial Page Has Already Been Made
Around 9 p.m. on Wednesday night, shortly after authorities released Camacho’s name, a memorial Facebook page was created, called “Remembering Sgt. Griselde Camacho PSD CUNY EOW 3/12/14.” At the page, friends, family, students, and well-wishers posted messages to express condolences.
5. At Least 7 People Were Killed in the Incident
ABC reports that the most recent numbers given by authorities are seven dead and 70 injured. However, the number of dead is expected to rise as authorities sift through the rubble and if health conditions deteriorate for the two victims in critical condition.