Church services remember those lost in NYC blast

Firefighters continue to investigate and remove debris from an explosion in the East Harlem neighborhood, Wednesday, March 12, 2014 in New York. A gas leak triggered an explosion that shattered windows a block away, rained debris onto elevated commuter railroad tracks close by, cast a plume of smoke over the skyline and sent people running into the streets. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)
Firefighters continue to investigate and remove debris from an explosion in the East Harlem neighborhood, Wednesday, March 12, 2014 in New York. A gas leak triggered an explosion that shattered windows a block away, rained debris onto elevated commuter railroad tracks close by, cast a plume of smoke over the skyline and sent people running into the streets. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

NEW YORK (AP) – It’s a solemn day for two churches hit hard by an explosion that destroyed two New York City apartment buildings.

Bethel Gospel Assembly lost two members in the East Harlem blast that also killed six others. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is scheduled to speak there Sunday.

The Spanish Christian Church was located in one of the two collapsed buildings. Members are expected to join another nearby church for its service. On Saturday, crews clearing the site located a Bible and returned it to the church’s pastor.

Most of the rubble from Wednesday’s explosion has been cleared away. Officials say the investigation into the cause should soon be underway.

Arson detectives and fire marshals have been waiting to examine gas meters and pipes. Authorities say someone reported smelling gas shortly before the explosion.

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