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Con Ed Pays Nearly 90 Victims Of East Harlem Blast

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- Con Edison has made compensation payments to nearly 90 survivors and residents displaced by the fatal explosion last week in East Harlem.

Con Ed spokesman Robert McGee said the company made 87 payments to people who were injured or lost their homes. He declined to provide the average amount paid for each victim.

The company said the payments were made last Thursday, a day after the blast.

PHOTOS: East Harlem BlastExplosion Aftermath

McGee told the Wall Street Journal that the payments were made after "one-on-one'' meetings with the victims.

On Tuesday, the National Transportation Safety Board confirmed a gas leak in the immediate area and said the troubled 8-inch cast iron pipe connected to one of the two buildings that collapsed failed a pressure test.

The sudden explosion last Wednesday rocked East Harlem just after 9:30 a.m., about 15 minutes after someone reported smelling gas in a neighboring building, authorities said.

The blast brought down two five-story buildings that housed a church, a piano store and more than a dozen apartments, and hurled bricks, glass and other debris across the neighborhood.

Eight people were killed and more than 60 others were injured.

Meanwhile, a wake was held Thursday for Alexis Jordy Salas, at the Ortiz Funeral Home on East 116th Street. The 22-year-old restaurant worker lived at 1644 Park Ave. -- one of the two buildings that was destroyed -- and he was about to become a dad when he was killed in the blast.

Salas' body will be flown to Mexico for burial.

A wake was also held for blast victim Griselde Camacho, 44. Police officers paid tribute outside a local funeral home to Camacho, who was a sergeant with the Hunter College public safety patrol.

A funeral was held Wednesday for 44-year-old George Amadeo. Friends and family remembered him as a kind man and good neighbor.

Just a few blocks away, a wake was held for Rosaura Barrios, 43, and her daughter, 22-year-old Rosaura Hernandez. Friends say the younger woman wanted to make her mark in the world as a chef.

Also killed in the explosion were Carmen Tanco, 67, a dental hygienist; Andreas Panagopoulos, 43, a musician from Greece; and Mayumi Nakamura, 34, from Japan.

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