3 dead after home explodes in Indiana, officials say; cause under investigation

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Three people are dead after a house exploded Wednesday in southern Indiana, officials said.

Dozens of firefighters responded to the scene in Evansville, after the blast occurred Wednesday afternoon on the 1000 block of North Weinbach Avenue, officials said.

Three deaths have been reported to the Vanderburgh County Coroner's Office as a result of the explosion, Chief Deputy Coroner David Anson said in a statement. The victims' names will be released pending family notification, he said.

Two of the victims were in the home that exploded, while the third was not, according to Evansville Fire Chief Mike Connelly.

One person was also taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, Connelly said.

PHOTO: The damage to the area where homes were damaged after a house explosion with multiple agencies on the scene on Aug. 10, 2022 in Evansville, Ind. (Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke/ZUMA Press Wire Service)
PHOTO: The damage to the area where homes were damaged after a house explosion with multiple agencies on the scene on Aug. 10, 2022 in Evansville, Ind. (Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke/ZUMA Press Wire Service)

The home where the explosion occurred was destroyed and 39 other structures were "damaged severely or suffered minor damage," Connelly told reporters Wednesday evening. The Knight Township Trustee's Office was among the buildings damaged and will be closed for the foreseeable future, officials said.

According to Evansville's building department, 11 of the 39 homes damaged in the explosion are uninhabitable, Connelly said.

PHOTO:  The damage to the area where homes were damaged after a house explosion with multiple agencies on the scene on Aug. 10, 2022 in Evansville, Ind. (Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke via ZUMA Press Wire Service)
PHOTO: The damage to the area where homes were damaged after a house explosion with multiple agencies on the scene on Aug. 10, 2022 in Evansville, Ind. (Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke via ZUMA Press Wire Service)

Some 60 firefighters were on the scene assisting, Connelly said.

A 100-foot radius around the blast was not immediately searchable and some buildings were not safe to enter, Connelly said, who noted there could be other victims. Though no additional victims have been found following a search and nobody is unaccounted for at this time, he said on Thursday.

The cause of the explosion is under investigation. Though investigators have ruled out an intentional ignition source and believe it to be accidental, Connelly said.

CenterPoint Energy arrived following the blast and "made the scene safe," Connelly said. "There was no detection of gas and they're restoring service now."

Natalie Hedde, a spokesperson for CenterPoint Energy, told reporters there was no work being done in the area at the time of the incident and the company had not received any phone calls "suggesting there was a natural gas emergency."

Continued surveys have shown no indications of natural gas being detected on the outside of the structure, she said.

"At this time we feel confident there are no challenges with CenterPoint Energy's natural gas system," Hedde said.

PHOTO: A home was destroyed in an explosion in Evansville, Indiana, on Aug. 10, 2022. (Tanner Edwards)
PHOTO: A home was destroyed in an explosion in Evansville, Indiana, on Aug. 10, 2022. (Tanner Edwards)

Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke was on-site surveying the damage.

"There's a big investigation and cleanup effort underway," Winnecke told ABC Evansville affiliate WEHT Wednesday.

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An off-duty Evansville police officer reported the explosion, the mayor said.

The block where the incident occurred "will be shut down for the foreseeable future," the Evansville Police Department said.

"As more information becomes available, the respective agencies investigating will be able to provide more information," the department said.

ABC News' Darren Reynolds contributed to this report.

3 dead after home explodes in Indiana, officials say; cause under investigation originally appeared on abcnews.go.com