House explodes in Evansville, Indiana, kills 3 and damages 39 homes: NPR

Emergency crew responding to an explosion at a home Wednesday in Evansville, Ind. (MaCabe Brown/Evansville Courier & Press by AP)

Macabe Brown/Evansville Courier and Press via AP


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Macabe Brown/Evansville Courier and Press via AP


Emergency crew responding to an explosion at a home Wednesday in Evansville, Ind. (MaCabe Brown/Evansville Courier & Press by AP)

Macabe Brown/Evansville Courier and Press via AP

Evansville, India. On Wednesday, three people were killed in a home explosion in the southern Indiana city of Evansville.

Vanderburgh County Chief Deputy Coroner David Anson told The Associated Press that the identities of those who died will not be released until next of kin are notified.

Evansville Police Department spokeswoman Sgt. Anna Gray said at least one other injury was reported and the victim was taken to a local hospital for treatment.

Evansville Fire Department Chief Mike Connelly said a total of 39 homes were damaged by the blaze at around 1 p.m.

At least 11 of the 39 homes damaged are “uninhabitable”, Connelly reported. Evansville Courier & Press,

The cause of the blast was not known, but the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was investigating. A phone message seeking comment was left at the ATF’s Evansville field office.

“The debris is spread over a 100-foot radius,” Connelly said, which included “typical building materials” such as wood boards, window panes and insulation.

Emergency crews respond to an explosion at a home on North Weinbach Avenue in Evansville, Ind., Wednesday.

Macabe Brown/Evansville Courier and Press via AP


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Macabe Brown/Evansville Courier and Press via AP


Emergency crews respond to an explosion at a home on North Weinbach Avenue in Evansville, Ind., Wednesday.

Macabe Brown/Evansville Courier and Press via AP

Aerial video posted on social media shows damage in a residential neighborhood with police and fire vehicles at the scene in Evansville on the Kentucky border.

Centerpoint Energy, the local gas utility, was last called 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, the State Fire Marshal and other agencies as the investigation of this incident continues,” the utility said.

Jackie Baumgart, office manager for Awards World Trophies, said she and other staff at her building, about two-and-a-half blocks from the site of the explosion, panicked after seeing the loud explosion and smoke.

“We thought a tree fell on the building or a car ran into the place,” Baumgart said. “The debris came down from the roof.”

He continued: “Everyone here immediately ran out of the building. We thought the building was about to come down.”

This was the second domestic explosion in the area in just five years. On June 27, 2017, two people were killed and three others were injured in an explosion at a house.

Wednesday’s eruption also brought to mind a major blaze in 2012 that destroyed or damaged more than 80 homes on the south side of Indianapolis and killed two people. A man was convicted of tampering with a natural gas line at his then-girlfriend’s home in an attempt to commit insurance fraud, killing two neighboring neighbors in an explosion. The man, his half-brother and girlfriend all received long prison sentences.

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