NEW YORK — Firefighters overnight searched in frigid conditions the site of a fatal gas explosion in East Harlem for signs of the missing and clues that would help in the investigation.

At least eight people were killed and at least five people remain unaccounted for.

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With smoke from burning fires wafting from the site, firefighters worked slowly and meticulously.

An earth mover dumped chunks of wood, metal, wires and soil in front of the blast site. About a dozen firefighters went through it searching for human remain. They also looked for any evidence that might help establish what happened.

The debris was then trucked off to another site where it will be examined more closely.

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