Deputy Coroner: Three People Die in a House Explosion in Southern Indiana!
Three people were killed Wednesday when a house exploded in the southern Indiana city of Evansville, authorities said.
Dave Anson, chief deputy coroner for Vanderburgh County, told The Associated Press that the identities of the people who died would not be released until the next of kin has been notified.
Evansville Police Department spokeswoman Sgt. Anna Gray said at least one other injury was reported and that victim was taken to a local hospital for treatment.
Chief Mike Connelly of the Evansville Fire Department said that the explosion around 1 p.m. caused damage to 39 homes. He said that the department hasn’t been able to confirm how many of the houses were occupied when the explosion happened because “some were too unstable to enter.” The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives is looking into what caused the explosion, but the cause has not yet been found.
“Debris is strewn over a 100-foot (30-meter) radius,” including “typical construction materials” such as wooden boards, window glass, and insulation, Connelly said.
Aerial video shared on social media shows damage in a residential neighborhood in Evansville, Indiana, near the border with Kentucky. Police and fire trucks are on the scene.
CenterPoint Energy, the local gas utility, was last called to the home in January 2018, Connelly said. CenterPoint issued a statement saying it “worked with first responders to secure the area.”
“CenterPoint Energy is working closely with the Evansville Fire Department, State Fire Marshal, and other agencies as the investigation of this incident continues,” the utility said.
Jacki Baumgart, the office manager at Award World Trophies, which is about two and a half blocks from where the explosion happened, said that she and the other employees in her building panicked when they heard the loud blast and saw smoke.
“We thought a tree fell on the building or a car ran into the place,” Baumgart said. “Debris from the ceiling came down.”
She went on: “Everyone here ran out of the building right away. We thought the building would collapse.”
It was the second time in just over five years that a house had exploded in the area. On June 27, 2017, a house explosion killed two people and hurt three more.
Wednesday’s explosion also made me think of a huge blast that happened in 2012 on the south side of Indianapolis. It destroyed or damaged more than 80 homes and killed two people. A man was found guilty of trying to cheat his insurance company by messing with a natural gas line at the home of his then-girlfriend. The explosion that happened, as a result, killed two people who lived next door. This man, his half-brother, and his girlfriend were all sent to prison for a long time.