3 Indiana residents killed after house explodes in Evansville

EVANSVILLE, Ind. — Three people were killed Wednesday after a house explosion in Evansville, Indiana, authorities said.

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The explosion was reported at 12:58 p.m. CDT, the Evansville Courier & Press reported.

The Vanderburgh County Coroner’s Office confirmed the deaths, according to the newspaper.

Evansville Fire Chief Mike Connelly said that two of the three victims were inside the house, WISH-TV reported. The other person was in a neighboring house.

All three victims suffered blunt force trauma, Connelly told reporters.

Connelly added that 39 houses were damaged by the explosion, the Courier & Press reported.

Dave Anson, Vanderburgh County’s chief deputy coroner, told The Associated Press that the identities of the people who died would not be released pending next-of-kin notification.

Photos that Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke posted on Twitter showed the addresses of the homes involved. According to the mayor, one house appeared to be completely destroyed while the other two houses suffered extensive damage, the Courier & Press reported.

Jacki Baumgart, an office manager at Award World Trophies nearly three blocks from the explosion, told the AP that she and other employees in their building panicked when they heard the blast and saw smoke.

“We thought a tree fell on the building or a car ran into the place,” Baumgart told the news organization. “Debris from the ceiling came down.

“Everybody here immediately ran out of the building. We thought the building was going to come down.”

The cause of the explosion is unknown and an investigation is ongoing, WEHT-TV reported.

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