EVANSVILLE, Ind. — The coroner has released the names of the people killed in an explosion in an Evansville neighborhood Wednesday afternoon.
The explosion happened just after 1:00 p.m. local time Wednesday along North Weinbach Avenue, damaging 39 homes, severely damaging 11, and completely destroying a couple of homes immediately nearby where the explosion happened inside one of the homes.
Charles Hite, 43, Martina Hite, 37, and Jessica Teague, 29, were all killed in the explosion. The Hites were inside the home where the explosion happened and Teague was a neighbor. Another person was taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
“The cause is not determined at this time,” said Evansville fire chief Mike Connelly of what may have caused the explosion. “It is in the category of accidental. Based on ATF, Indiana Fire Marshals Office, Indiana Department of Homeland Security, and Evansville Fire Department investigation division, intentional ignition source has been ruled out.”
Connelly said 15 families have been displaced by the blast and have since had help from the American Red Cross in finding places to stay for the time being. He said their search for survivors and victims is over
“Our thorough leak surveys are coming back with no natural gas being detected outside of the structure,” said Natalie Heddy, spokesperson for CenterPoint Energy. “There was no work being done at the time of the incident. We have also not received any phone calls leading up to the incident to indicate a natural gas emergency.”
Connelly said they are still looking into what exactly caused the explosion.
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