Section of Weinbach Avenue to stay closed through weekend

Section of Weinbach Avenue to stay closed through weekend
Published: Aug. 12, 2022 at 8:25 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 12, 2022 at 12:26 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Evansville city officials tell us that Indiana Department of Homeland Security Executive Director Joel Thacker joined Mayor Lloyd Winnecke on Friday morning to survey the area.

State fire marshals, who work under the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, are now leading the investigation into the cause of an explosion in the 1000 block of Weinbach Avenue on Wednesday.

[Officials: 3 people dead, 39 homes damaged after house explosion in Evansville]

The Vanderburgh County Coroner’s Office says three people were killed as a result of the explosion.

The victims were identified as 43-year-old Charles Hite, 37-year-old Martina Hite and 29-year-old Jessica Teague. All three were from Evansville.

Officials with the Evansville Fire Department say another person was transported to a nearby hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

They tell us that person has seen been released from the hospital and is in good condition.

[Red Cross offers help to Evansville families left displaced following explosion]

Chief Connelly told our crew on scene late Friday morning that city engineers believe a 96-inch storm drainage pipe may have been damaged in Wednesday’s explosion.

As engineers inspected the pipe, fire crews stood by in case engineers needed emergency rescue.

Connelly and officials from the mayor’s office tell us that the pipe did not appear to have any visible damage.

Officials also said that Weinbach Avenue will be closed over the weekend between Vogel Road and Belaire Avenue. Meanwhile, the intersection of Oak Hill Road and Weinbach Avenue, Vogel Road and Columbia Street are back open for the first time since Wednesday.

[Inside look at victim’s home following Weinbach explosion damage]

Watch Friday’s update below.

Friday update on Weinbach Avenue house explosion - 8/12

39 homes were damaged as a result of the explosion.

If anyone has damage to report, you’re asked to call the Building Commission at 812-436-7818.

During a Thursday briefing, Chief Connelly said the cause of the explosion is still “undetermined.”

On Friday, CenterPoint Energy officials say there are no indications of issues with their natural gas system. They also tell us multiple homes in the area will be without gas and electricity throughout the duration of the investigation.

We were also told that 140 calls were made to Evansville Central Dispatch in just the 10-minute span after the explosion happened.

The cause of the explosion is still under investigation, and Thacker says it could be “quite some time” before they determine what caused the blast.

“It’s gonna be a considerable amount of time because there are so many different parties involved in this investigation, so it’s gonna be quite some time,” Thacker said.

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