Two people killed, three hurt in house explosion - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Two people killed, three hurt in house explosion

(Credit: Tony Hughes) (Credit: Tony Hughes)
(Credit: Oscar Fields) (Credit: Oscar Fields)
Family members tell us the man in this picture is the son of one of the victims. (WFIE) Family members tell us the man in this picture is the son of one of the victims. (WFIE)

The bodies of two women were recovered from the basement of a house after it exploded, according to the Evansville Fire Department.

The explosion happened around 8:30 a.m. Tuesday at 1717 Hercules Avenue.

Police say, three other people, two adults and a child, were hurt in the explosion. A witness told 14 News that she went out and covered up one of the adults and the child with wet towels.

Officials at St. Vincent say Michael Kneer was transferred to the University of Louisville Hospital. He is in critical condition.

Family members tell us 8-year-old Jessie Woolems and his mother, Tara, were the other two people hurt in the explosion. Court documents show Tara McKnight lived in the home.

The Ezkenazi Burn Unit in Indianapolis told us they have a patient named Tara McKnight, who is currently listed in critical but stable condition. 

Fire officials tell us Woolems was flown to Riley Children's Hospital in Indianapolis. There's no word yet on his condition.

[Family members, neighbors shaken up after deadly house explosion]

Coroner Steve Lockyear said an autopsy on the two bodies is scheduled for 1 p.m. Wednesday.

Vectren was also on the scene and we're told they have shut off gas and electric to surrounding homes.

According to Vectren's public information officer, Natalie Hedde, the gas leak surveys done so far do not indicate the presence of natural gas. Hedde says that could change as fire officials continue to investigate the explosion.

Fire investigator Richard Howard said he thinks this was caused by a diffuse gas vapor explosion. The cause is still undetermined.

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