• At least one person has been injured in the explosion
  • Debris was strewn in a 100-foot radius from the property
  • Neighbors noticed a thick billow of smoke emanating from the home

At least three people were killed and 39 homes were damaged in a house explosion in the southern Indiana city of Evansville on Wednesday.

The county coroner's office in Evansville confirmed three persons died in the explosion that occurred in the 1000 block of North Weinbach Avenue. The Evansville police and fire departments responded immediately after receiving information about the blast, Evansville Courier and Press reported.

Sgt. Anna Gray, a spokeswoman for the Evansville Police Department, said at least one more injury was recorded and the victim was sent to a nearby hospital for treatment, according to CBS News.

Police temporarily closed most streets in the vicinity of the explosion and according to authorities, a portion of Weinbach Avenue will likely be shut for several hours.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) has temporarily halted the search for more victims, as well as the cleanup of the debris, in order to conduct a blast analysis.

Evansville Fire Department Chief Mike Connelly said at least 11 of the 39 houses were badly damaged in the explosion and were uninhabitable. Fire officials couldn't confirm if all the houses were empty at the time of the blast. Building items like wooden planks, window glass and insulation were scattered over a 100-foot radius, the officer said.

People near the area recalled noticing a thick billow of smoke emanating from the home after the explosion.

"We thought a tree fell on the building or a car ran into the place," Jacki Baumgart, who lives two blocks away from the neighborhood, told Associated Press, "Debris from the ceiling came down. Everybody here immediately ran out of the building. We thought the building was going to come down."

The investigation is in its preliminary phase and the exact cause for the explosion has not been determined yet.

A video shared on social media showed the damages caused by the explosion as emergency vehicles rushed to the scene.

After the blast, gas and power were restored to local households.

"I don't think evacuation (of the neighborhood) will be required. But many of the neighboring routes will continue to be blocked," Connelly said.

Representative Image
Representative image. 39 Houses were engulfed by fire after a explosion. Image by eu1 from Pixabay