Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Flower Branch Apartments explosion death toll rises to six in Silver Spring

Search teams located the remains of a sixth victim in the rubble at the Flower Branch Apartments in Silver Spring yesterday. The deceased victim was found at the apartment complex in the 8700 block of Arliss Street in the Long Branch area. All six perished in the August 10 explosion, fire and resulting building collapse at the complex.

None of the six dead have been publicly identified, but Montgomery County Police have said they are among the eight missing people they identified a few days ago. That list dropped to seven missing yesterday, when - in a rare positive development since the explosion - police confirmed that Oscar Armando Ochoa is alive and well. Ochoa had recently moved out of the Flower Branch Apartments, but his name was not removed from the roster of tenants for unknown reasons.

Washington Gas completed an inspection of its infrastructure at the site Monday. One other intriguing development yesterday was the sudden arrival onsite of federal inspectors from the National Surface Transportation Safety Board's Pipeline Division.

WUSA9 reported yesterday that the apartment complex had over 1600 code violations in two Montgomery County inspections prior to 2014.

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