Police release photos of residents missing in Silver Spring explosion

WASHINGTON — On Saturday, police released photos of eight residents who still have not been accounted after an explosion and fire blasted through a community in Silver Spring on Wednesday.

Montgomery County police circulated details about five adults and two children with hopes of determining their whereabouts since the blast. They have identified the missing as:

  • Saeda Ibrahim, 41
  • Augusto Jimenez Sr., 62
  • Maria Auxiliadorai Castellon-Martinez, 53
  • Aseged Mekonen, age 34
  • Deibi “David” Samir Lainez Morales, 8
  • Fernando Josue Hernandez Orellana, 3
  • Saul Paniagua, 65

Oscar Armando Ochoa, who was on the list of missing adults, was found safe, police confirmed Monday. A sixth body also was found, police said.

On Wednesday, an explosion at Flower Branch Apartments on Piney Branch Road left six dead and sent 34 to the hospital.

While the cause of the blast is being investigated, residents reported smelling gas before the explosion. Officials also responded to calls for a possible gas leak at the complex on July 25.

Police have said 110 people lived in that community. The people who died have not been identified the by police, but police said the dead were among the eight people who have not been accounted for.

Police have asked that anyone with information about these people’s whereabouts to call Montgomery County’s 311 telephone line (240-777-0311 if outside of the Montgomery County) or the police non-emergency line at 301-279-8000.

Editor’s note: This story was updated Monday to reflect that Oscar Armando Ochoa was found safe, and was not in the apartment complex at the time of the fire and explosion.

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