Evansville, Indiana (AP) — Authorities worked Thursday to determine the cause of a house explosion in southern Indiana that left three people dead and one hospitalized.
Wednesday afternoon’s explosion in Evansville damaged 39 homes, and on Thursday morning crews completed a secondary search of a building left unstable by the blast, with no further casualties found. No, fire chief Mike Connelly told reporters.
“It’s a huge relief for everyone,” the chief said of the results of the secondary investigation.
Eleven of the damaged homes are uninhabitable and will have to be demolished, Connelly said, adding that finding the cause would be “a very tedious process that will take time.” .
As of Thursday morning, the name of the deceased had not been released. The fourth victim’s injuries were not believed to be life-threatening, Connery said.
Suzanne Dubkowski, a spokesperson for the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Agency, said Thursday that the agency could not comment on the probable cause of the explosion. Dabkowski said the ATF has certified explosives experts and certified firearms investigators at the Evansville scene, and they are now assisting with the investigation.
Evansville is located on the border of Indiana and Kentucky. The explosion scattered debris in a radius of 100 feet (30 meters). The debris included construction materials such as wooden boards, window glass, and insulation.
Local gas company CenterPoint Energy was last called home in January 2018, Connelly said Wednesday.
“CenterPoint Energy is working closely with the Evansville Fire Department, the State Fire Department, and other agencies as the investigation into this incident continues,” said Utility.
It was the second housing explosion in the area in just five years. A house explosion on June 27, 2017 killed two people and injured three others.
Wednesday’s blast was a reminder of a large blast in 2012 that destroyed or damaged more than 80 homes south of Indianapolis and killed two people. A man was convicted of conspiring to commit insurance fraud and tampering with a natural gas line at his then-girlfriend’s house.
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