Carmen Tanko, cousin to News 12 cameraman, killed in East Harlem gas explosion

Carmen Tanko lived on the second floor of one of the two buildings leveled by the blast. (3/12/14)

EAST HARLEM - One of the victims in the East Harlem explosion is a 67-year-old woman, who is also the cousin of a photographer who works at News 12.

Carmen Tanko lived on the second floor of one of the two buildings leveled by the blast. Her body was discovered a short time later out on Park Avenue at 116th Street. Tanko was thrown from the building.

“Carmen was the icon of the family,” said Angel Vargas, Tanko’s cousin and News 12 Hudson Valley photographer. “She always kept this family up. She was really one person to look up to. I'm going to miss her.”

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Tanko attended the church located just below her apartment. Vargas says she was a spiritual woman and was always willing to help people, especially her family.

The blast killed at least three people and injured more than 60. Nine people are missing.

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