Three people were killed and others were injured in a house explosion Wednesday in Evansville, Indiana.
The explosion occurred at 12:58 p.m in the 1000 block of North Weinbach Ave., the Evansville Courier & Press reported.
The blast damaged 39 homes and left 11 of them “uninhabitable,” Evansville Fire Department Chief Mike Connelly said, according to the newspaper.
Connelly said the fire department had not yet confirmed the number of homes that were occupied at the time of the explosion, adding that “some were too unstable to enter,” The Associated Press reported.
Officials have not yet identified the cause of the explosion. Connelly initially said it was “accidental,” but later corrected that to say it was “a cause-undetermined explosion,” the Courier & Press reported.
A Wednesday afternoon house explosion in Evansville killed 3 people, according to the coroner’s office. The Evansville Fire Department chief said 39 houses were damaged. Read more: https://t.co/eOt9A0symr pic.twitter.com/uxNH7MdyLX
— Courier & Press (@courierpress) August 10, 2022
The blast is under investigation by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
One house seemed to be destroyed, according to the Courier & Press, while two others took massive damage.
— Jordan Yaney (@Jordan14News) August 10, 2022
“Debris is strewn over a 100-foot radius,” Connelly said, according to the AP.
According to the fire department chief, the debris included “typical construction materials” such as “wooden boards, window glass and insulation,” the outlet reported.
Witnesses described the harrowing incident.
Jacki Baumgart, an office manager with Award World Trophies — around two-and-a-half blocks from the explosion’s epicenter — recollected hearing a loud blast and seeing smoke, according to the New York Post.
“We thought a tree fell on the building or a car ran into the place,” Baumgart said, the outlet reported. “Debris from the ceiling came down.”
“Everybody here immediately ran out of the building. We thought the building was going to come down,” she added.
Dramatic doorbell footage captured the moment of an explosion in Evansville, Indiana, that killed at least three people on Wednesday. According to authorities, the explosion damaged 39 homes and rendered 11 homes uninhabitable. https://t.co/RXxzCIn2OW pic.twitter.com/xY5XSqy18s
— CBS News (@CBSNews) August 12, 2022
Also damaged by the blast was the trustee office of the Knight Township, which Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke said would remain closed “for the foreseeable future,” the Courier & Press reported.
The names of the three people confirmed dead were not immediately released.
“There could be other victims,” Connelly said, according to the Courier & Press. “We have not yet completed our search.”
A judge in 2021 cleared dismissed a lawsuit against gas utility company CenterPoint, the wire service reported.
“CenterPoint Energy crews responded to an explosion this afternoon at a home on N. Weinbach Ave. in Evansville and worked with first responders to secure the area,” CenterPoint spokeswoman Erin Merris told the Courier & Press on Wednesday afternoon.
“CenterPoint Energy is working closely with the Evansville Fire Department, State Fire Marshal and other agencies as the investigation of this incident continues,” the company said.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.