Investigators Identify Sixth Victim of Silver Spring Explosion and Fire



Montgomery County police detectives, with the help of ATF and the Office of the Medical Examiner (OCME), have identified a sixth victim, 34-year-old Aseged Mekonen, who died at the scene of an explosion and fire at a Silver Spring apartment building earlier this month.

The remains of seven people were removed from the rubble after natural gas exploded in a meter room of the Flower Branch Apartments on August 10. The blast and fire destroyed two buildings at 8701 and 8703 Arliss Avenue. Investigators are continuing their work of identifying one more victim while the National Transportation Safety Board investigates the cause of the gas explosion.

Last week, investigators positively identified three victims: Maria Auxiliadorai Castellon-Martinez, age 53; Augusto Jimenez Sr., age 62; and Saul Paniagua, age 65.

Earlier this week, investigators positively identified two of the youngest victims: Deibi “David” Samir Lainez Morales, age 8, and Fernando Josue Hernandez Orellana, age 3.

Investigators are continuing their work with the ATF and OCME to identify the seventh victim.

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