Family of Weinbach explosion victims react to investigation findings

Family of Weinbach explosion victims react to investigation findings
Published: Nov. 3, 2022 at 4:44 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - On Wednesday, the Indiana Department of Homeland Security released the findings from its investigation into the house explosion at 1010 North Weinbach Avenue, saying it was accidental. For the family of two of the victims, Charlie and Martina Hite, the findings present more questions than answers.

Charlie and Martina’s family says they have been struggling to adjust since losing the couple back in August. Despite having authorities identify the cause of the explosion, they say unanswered questions are keeping them from having closure.

Charlie and Martina Hite died in August when their house exploded. When their family heard the official cause of the explosion, it didn’t bring much comfort.

“They have way more questions now following this result than they did beforehand,” said Charlie’s brother-in-law Randy Evans.

The press release with the announcement says there was an uncapped, leaking gas line with an open valve in their basement. It also says the home’s gas consumption sharply increased in the two days prior to the explosion.

The Hites’ family says they wonder things like how didn’t Charlie and Martina notice the accumulation of gas if it was leaking so much for two days. They also wonder if it was an accident, how can others be prevented?

“There are people in this neighborhood who are not comfortable because of what’s happened,” said Evans. “They worry that there might be something else that’s happened, another accident might happen.”

The family says their grief, along with everything they don’t know about what happened to their loved ones, is making it hard to move on.

“There’s no closure at this point,” said Evans. “We still have the holiday season upcoming and they’re not going to be present for the first time and that’s going to be absolutely gut-wrenching for us; not having their laughter, their joking, and playing games with us. That’s what we do on the holidays with her family, and that’s a huge thing.”

Evans says he understands not everything can be disclosed, but he says he wishes an official would reach out to the family to answer some of their lingering questions.

Click here for more of our previous coverage on the Weinbach Avenue explosion.