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At Least 3 People Dead, 39 Homes Damaged After Explosion in Indiana Town

·2-min read
At Least 3 People Dead, 39 Homes Damaged After Explosion in Indiana Town

A home explosion in an Indiana town has left at least three people dead and dozens of homes with damage.

Evansville Fire Department Chief Mike Connelly said in a news conference, per CNN, on Wednesday that in addition to the three deceased, "There could be other victims, we have not completed our search. The buildings are not yet safe to enter."

He added that 39 homes were hit with "severe to minor damage."

The Evansville Fire Department did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

Connelly said fire trucks were sent to the 1000 block of N. Weinbach Avenue at 12:59 p.m. local time. It took them three minutes to get to the scene, FOX59 reported.

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Firefighters determined that many of the homes were not occupied, however, some did have pets inside. The fires have been maintained and the area is shut down, Evansville Police Department Sgt. Anna Gray said, according to the news station.

The Evansville Fire Department said one person was taken to a local hospital but it's not clear how badly they were injured, according to 14 News.

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3 Dead in Home Explosion
3 Dead in Home Explosion

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Out of the 39 homes that were damaged, 11 are uninhabitable, Chief Connelly said, per 14 News. It is unknown how many people are now without a home.

A nearby business, ABK Alarms Inc., captured footage of the explosion with a surveillance camera. In the clip, shared by Jordan Yaney of 14 News on Twitter, smoke and debris billow in the air seconds after the explosion rocks the street.

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Sharing photos of the aftermath via Facebook, Deputy Mayor Steve Schaefer said he is "praying for everyone in that area, including the many first responders."

The Evansville/Vanderburgh County Emergency Management Agency also wrote on the social media platform, "We are aware of the explosion on Weinbach and are closely monitoring the situation. Please avoid the area for your safety and to allow first responders to work the scene."

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The post went on to announce that N. Weinbach is closed from Morgan Ave to Vogel Ave as well as N. Hercules between Columbia St. and Vogel Ave.

Officials are looking into the cause of the explosion in an arson investigation. They said further information will be made public once the victims' families are notified, 14 News added.