Updated November 3 A gas leak was the cause of a fatal house explosion in Evansville, IN on August 10. Killed in the blast were Charles Hite, 43; Martha Hite, 37; and Jessica Teague, 29; all of Evansville. The Hites were inside the home that exploded, Teague was inside a neighboring home.
Emergency responders were called to the scene in the 1000 block of North Weinbach Ave. just before 1 pm. When they arrived, they found that the blast had completely destroyed the home and damaged 39 others.
Investigators found an uncapped gas line with the valve in the open position in the basement of the home. They did not determine how the valve was opened, but said there was no indication of foul play.
In a review of meter data after the explosion, investigators found that there was a sharp increase in gas usage that started two days before the blast. The odorant Mercaptan was present in the gas line leading to the home. 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.
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