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

(EVANSVILLE, Ind.) — 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.

So far 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.

The home where the explosion occurred was destroyed and 39 other structures were “damaged severely or suffered minor damage,” Evansville Fire Chief Mike 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.

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

A 100-foot radius around the blast is not searchable and some buildings are not safe to enter, Connelly said, noting that there could be other victims.

The cause of the explosion is under investigation.

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.”

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

“There’s a big investigation and cleanup effort underway,” Winnecke told ABC Evansville affiliate WEHT.

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.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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