House explodes in Evansville, Indiana, leaving 3 dead and nearby homes 'uninhabitable'

·2 min read

EVANSVILLE, Ind. — At least three people died after a house exploded Wednesday, damaging dozens of homes and making some of them uninhabitable, an official said.

Evansville Fire Department Chief Mike Connelly said the explosion had a 100-foot blast radius and damaged about 40 homes, at least 11 of which were deemed "uninhabitable." There is no word yet on what caused the blast.

The explosion, which was reported just before 1 p.m., appears to have destroyed the home where it happened, according to a photo Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke posted to social media.

Neighboring homes suffered heavy damage and the residential street was littered with debris. Police shut down nearby streets.

The Vanderburgh County Coroner's Office confirmed Wednesday afternoon that three people had died. Connelly said the search for victims hadn't been completed, and that "there could be other victims."

An overhead photo of damage from a house explosion in the 1000 block of North Weinbach Avenue.
An overhead photo of damage from a house explosion in the 1000 block of North Weinbach Avenue.

"There are three deaths reported to us that are a result of the explosion on North Weinbach Avenue," the office said in an email statement.

Earlier Wednesday, Evansville Police Department spokeswoman Sgt. Anna Gray said two people were injured in the house that exploded. She said a third injury was in a neighboring house. The fire department had not confirmed if all of the houses were unoccupied at the time of the blast because "some were too unstable to enter."

Jasmine Vickers, who works at a child care center about four blocks away from the explosion, said a loud sound occurred during the kids' nap time and amazingly only woke up one of them.

“But the building shook, and we looked outside and saw everyone running," she said.

She said she woke everyone up and evacuated the building immediately.

Emergency crews respond to a house explosion in the 1000 block of North Weinbach Avenue in Evansville, Ind., Wednesday afternoon, Aug. 10, 2022.
Emergency crews respond to a house explosion in the 1000 block of North Weinbach Avenue in Evansville, Ind., Wednesday afternoon, Aug. 10, 2022.

Leslie Lawrence, who works for a trophy store, said when the explosion happened, “Everybody jumped. We thought a tree had fallen on us, or a car crashed into the building.”

The Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives was on the scene investigating Wednesday afternoon.

In a Twitter post, Winnecke said the local Red Cross chapter was at the blast site providing food and water and would be assisting those "with sheltering needs."

This article originally appeared on Evansville Courier & Press: Evansville house explosion kills 3 in Indiana, damages dozens of homes