Evansville House Explosion Kills 3 [Updated]

Updated November 3 A gas leak was the source of an August 10 house explosion in Evansville, IN that killed Charles Hite, 43; Martha Hite, 37; and Jessica Teague, 29; all of Evansville. Investigators discovered an uncapped gas line with the valve in the open position in the basement of the home located in the n 1000 block of North Weinbach Ave.

Reviewing meter data after the explosion, investigators found that a sharp increase in gas usage began two days before the blast. They did not determine how the valve was opened, but said there was no indication of foul play. The odorant Mercaptan was present in the gas line leading to the home. With the presence of that distinct smell, it was unclear to investigators how the Hites were unaware that gas was accumulating inside their home. The Indiana State Fire Marshal has ruled the cause of a fatal explosion accidental.

The explosion occurred just before 1 pm on August 10. Firefighters arrived at the scene in less than 60 seconds, a video included in a 14 News report showed When they arrived, they found that the blast had completely destroyed the home and damaged 39 others.

Charles and Martha Hite were inside the home that exploded, Jessica Teague was inside a neighboring home. The person hurt in the explosion sustained injuries that were not life-threatening, Fire Chief Mike Connelly said.

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Fourteen agencies and CenterPoint Energy were involved in the investigation of the explosion. On the day of the explosion, CenterPoint Energy conducted tests to check the integrity of the gas line that runs from the main in the street to the area where the meter on house was.

The Evansville Housing authorities tagged all of the damaged houses – red for no entry, yellow for entry with an escort, and green for no restrictions to entry. Eleven of the 39 homes that were damaged are uninhabitable. The Red Cross helped displaced families find safe shelter.

Lawsuit Filed against CenterPoint Energy for Explosion Wrongful Death

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