MINNEAPOLIS - The Somali community of Minnesota received the news they have been dreading since an explosion and fire destroyed an apartment building on New Year's Day. A body was found in the wreckage Thursday afternoon. Firefighters had been unable to enter the damaged structure which was too unstable. As wrecking crews began the careful demolition, they found the body of one person, so far, unidentified.
Earlier on Thursday, family members and friends of two men who were roommates in an apartment on the third floor of the building pleaded for information about their loved ones. Neither man had been heard from since the fire.
"This guy he came to visit and he used to live in New York and he went back to Somalia and I think he came back like couple of months ago," said Shareef Hassan, friend of Mrimri Jana Farah. Hassan said Farah is one of two men still unaccounted for in the wake of the tragedy.
"We need to see something because we miss him right now," said Hawo Daqare, wife of Ahmed Ali. "It's 24 hours. We not see anything right now."
Fire officials confirmed that a body had been recovered, but have yet to offer an identification.
Somali community leader Bihi said he had been in the ill-fated building on many occasions.
"That building hosts a lot of guests over the weekends," said Bihi. "People tend to socialize by playing cards or other stuff, So, this weekend, this time was holiday, which our community celebrates big time and the more people, especially a lot of truck drivers were in town and stayed in that building."
A fund has been set up to assist the victim's families at the Riverside Wells Fargo branch.