A video emerged late Wednesday evening that showed a massive explosion completely leveling a home in Evansville, Indiana, killing at least three people and damaging at least 39 homes.
It was not immediately clear what caused the massive explosion. A spokesperson for the Evansville Fire Department told Tristate that the gas and electric company CenterPoint made no detection of gas after arriving on the scene. The spokesperson added that 11 of the houses affected will be uninhabitable.
DEVELOPING | At least three people are injured after a house explosion in Evansville, according to the fire department. Several homes were damaged.
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Fire Chief Mike Connelly said in a news conference that there could be more victims found as the search continues. “There could be other victims; we have not completed our search. The buildings are not yet safe to enter,” Connelly said, adding, “Initial survey of the damage is that 39 houses have been damaged from either severe to minor damage.”
“Our thoughts are with those closely involved with the explosion that happened on N. Weinbach this afternoon,” the Evansville Police Department said in a statement. “As more information becomes available the respective agencies investigating will be able to provide more information. N. Weinbach between Columbia and Oak Hill will be shut down for the foreseeable future, please plan an alternate route.”
Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke visited the scene with first responders and shared photos on his Facebook account.
People near the scene described their homes and businesses shaking when the explosion happened. Vincent Taylor told 14 News that he was working on the roof of a house two blocks away from the blast when he heard the explosion and saw debris falling from the sky. Taylor said he got to the scene moments later and described it as “total devastation.” “Their houses are totally gone. It’s bad,” he remarked.
According to officials, most of the homes in the neighborhood were unoccupied at the time of the explosion other than some pets. Eight different agencies were on the scene Wednesday afternoon, and Connelly said an arson investigation had been launched.
Zach Jewell contributed to this report.