3 killed, 39 homes damaged from house explosion in Indiana
EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE/Gray News) - Authorities confirmed that three people were killed as a result of a house explosion in Indiana on Wednesday afternoon.
Officials say the call originally came in just before 1 p.m.
Officials with the Evansville Fire Department say another person was transported to a nearby hospital, but the severity of the victim’s injuries is unknown at this time.
More details will be released once the victims’ families are notified, according to authorities.
People on scene told 14 News crews they felt their homes and businesses shake when the explosion happened.
Vincent Taylor says he was working on a roof two blocks away. When he heard the explosion, he looked up and saw debris falling from the sky.
He rushed to the scene and was there just moments after the explosion.
“Total devastation – it was bad,” Taylor said. “I looked over and saw the guy in the grass and it looked bad, but a lot of people lost everything down here. Their houses are totally gone. It’s bad.”
Roxane Weber, who lives about a half block down the road on Weinbach, says she’s sad to hear about her neighbors. Weber also said that she’ll have some problems of her own to contend with in the aftermath of Wednesday’s explosion.
“I’m worried for other people around them because it’s mostly older folks on that end,” Weber said. “It was like a bomb went off near us. All the left side of our house the windows blew, and I have cracks everywhere. It’s like we have an old plastered house.”
Evansville Fire Chief Mike Connelly says that a special collapse unit was requested to the scene.
Officials say that most surrounding houses were unoccupied except for pets.
Fire crews on the scene said the street intersection nearby had been closed but was about to reopen.
During an earlier news conference, Connelly said 39 homes were damaged as a result of the explosion, and four homes were destroyed. He said two people had been in the house that exploded, while a third individual was inside a neighboring house.
The number of people displaced is unknown at this time.
Connelly says eight fire units are currently on scene, while an arson investigation is now underway.
During another briefing later in the afternoon, Chief Connelly said there’s a possibility of more victims in the fallout of this explosion.
Chief Connelly also says that search and debris cleanup has been paused until the nearby homes are deemed safe. He says the affected area is approximately a 100-foot radius surrounding the blast.
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