Services Held for East Village Blast Victims

Facebook image of Moisés Locón, whose family held a private mass in Queens before sending his body home to Guatemala. (Photo from Facebook via El Diario)

Facebook image of Moisés Locón, whose family held a private mass in Queens before sending his body home to Guatemala. (Photo from Facebook via El Diario)

The family of Moisés Locón, the Guatemalan worker who lost his life in the East Village explosion last month, transported his remains to his native country on Wednesday, Cristina Loboguerrero reports.

Alfredo Locón, brother of the victim, told El Diario that arrangements had been made to transfer the body. “My brother’s coffin will leave today [April 8] from Kennedy Airport to Guatemala, and we will bury him there,” said a tearful Locón.

A wake for 27-year-old Locón was held in Brooklyn on Monday. Only relatives and close friends attended. In addition, a religious service was held on Tuesday in Queens.

For the past 15 months, Locón – one of the two fatal victims of the East Village blast on March 26 – had worked as a busboy at the Sushi Park restaurant. Located near the corner of Second Avenue and 7th Street in Manhattan, the store was the epicenter of the disaster that left 22 people injured and leveled three buildings.

According to Hugo Moreno, a survivor of the blast and Locón’s co-worker, the victim had saved enough to return to Guatemala next month to get married and open his own cell phone store.

Mourners for Nicholas Figueroa at his funeral service on April 7 (Photo by Mariela Lombard via El Diario)

Mourners for Nicholas Figueroa at his funeral service on April 7 (Photo by Mariela Lombard via El Diario)

Cristina Loboguerrero also reported on the funeral for Nicholas Figueroa, the second victim, that was held on Tuesday as well. 

As the family of Nicholas Figueroa held a mass in his memory, city authorities confirmed that the investigation is being treated as a criminal case.

“Nothing will bring my son back to me, but one thing I am sure of, and that is that I want justice,” said Nicholas Figueroa Sr., father of the victim, to El Diario as he left his son’s funeral.

“This is all very painful, but whoever was negligent and whoever is linked to this process must pay,” said Figueroa. His wife, Ana Lanza, mother of the victim, shared his sentiment.

The body of the younger Figueroa was cremated after a mass was held at the Church of the Holy Name of Jesus, on West 96th Street in Manhattan. More than 200 friends and relatives attended the service.

“[Nicholas was] a young man who helped his mother teach others to have faith,” said Franciscan priest Lawrence Ford during his sermon, which focused on the topics of faith and resurrection.

From the same altar where he was baptized and in the same church where he frequently heard Mass alongside his family, Nicholas was described as a young man “with a very big heart who wanted only to help others.”

During the funeral ceremony, lasting over an hour, Nicholas’ coffin remained open, covered by a beige veil and decorated with a crucifix.

City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer attended the funeral, and left the ceremony without making public statements.

After the religious service, some of Nicholas’ friends and family got together in a community center on 109th Street, as his closest relatives escorted the body to the location where it was cremated.

Candida Román, Nicholas’ grandmother, said that, although his departure pains her, she is “resigned to God’s will.” She declined talking about the investigation and the possibility of criminal charges.

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