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Fifth Victim Found After Silver Spring Explosion

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- Investigators combing through the debris and rubble left by an explosion that rocked a Silver Spring apartment complex on Sunday have found the remains of a fifth victim, authorities said.

Children are among the eight people still missing following Wednesday night's blast, police said at a news briefing on Sunday. So far, authorities have been able to account for about 110 people thought to be present at the time of the explosion.

"We have managed to receive information on eight people who are believed to be in the involved apartment buildings of Arliss Street at the time of the fire and are currently unaccounted for," Montgomery County Assistant Police Chief Russ Hamill told reporters.

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The bodies, which are being taken to the Medical Examiner's Office, are in such bad shape that investigators have not been able to positively identify them. "Due to the conditions, we are not able to identify any of those people, by gender, age and race as of yet," Hamill said.

On Sunday evening, a crowd of hundreds including loved ones held an interfaith vigil to mourn and honor those killed in the tragedy.

"Como madre, sabiendo que sabiendo que algunas de las victimas son niños. Como la conmuevo eso as usted? Eso me conmuevo mucho saber que hay un niño de tres años, incluso estaba viendo aqui que hay un niño de 8 años," said Flor Rievera, who told WJZ that, as a mother, she was moved after seeing pictures of the two missing children.

Two victims were found on Thursday, a third was found on Friday, a fourth on Saturday and a fifth was located on Sunday afternoon, according to police.

Those still missing are Saeda Ibrahim, 41; Augusto Jimenez, 62; Maria Auxiliadorai Castellon-Martinez, 53; Asseged Mekonen, 34; Deibi "David" Samir Lainez Morales, 8; Fernando Josue Hernandez Orellana, 3; Saul Paniagua, 65; and Oscar Armando Ochoa, 55.

Of the eight, authorities said they were not able confirm whether Ochoa was at the apartment.

RELATED: Searchers Return To Scene of Deadly Apartment Explosion, Fire

The explosion, which happened in the 8700 block of Arliss Street, shook nearby homes and showered the surrounding area with debris.

"I was sleeping and I heard a boom and my mom said, 'Wake up,' because there's a fire," said one survivor. "The whole apartment shook. It was like fire, big flames."

Frightened neighbors called for help as the flames quickly spread. "The whole building is on fire," said one 911 caller. "The whole, whole building in front of me."

The cause of the explosion and fire remains under investigation, but tenants had complained about the smell of gas in recent weeks.

RELATEDOfficial: 911 Call Reported Smell Of Gas Weeks Before Explosion

Authorities said the extreme heat outside and the structural instability of what's left of the building has made recovery efforts more difficult.

If you have any information on the whereabouts of those believed to be missing, call 311.

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