Explosion in Indy

[Content Note: Fire; death.]

So this happened: In Indianapolis yesterday, there was an explosion in a residential neighborhood that killed two people, injured seven more, and totally destroyed two homes and did damage to many others:
Splintered beams and boards on a piece of charred earth were all that remained Sunday where at least two Indianapolis homes were leveled in a blast that killed two people and rendered homes for blocks uninhabitable.

A backhoe raked through the rubble in the middle-class subdivision as clusters of firefighters and rescue workers weary from a long, chaotic day that began late the night before waited for their next assignment.

aerial view of charred ground where two houses used to be

The two-story, brick-faced homes on either side of those demolished by the blast were ruins. One home's roof was gone, a blackened husk left behind. On the other side of the gap, the side of a home was sheared off. Across the street, garage doors had buckled from the heat.

It wasn't yet clear what caused the blast that shook the neighborhood at 11 p.m. Saturday. Residents described hearing a loud boom that blew out windows and collapsed ceilings. Some thought a plane had crashed or that it was an earthquake.

...Deputy Code Enforcement Director Adam Collins said as many as 31 homes were damaged so badly that they may have to be demolished. The explosion damaged a total of 80 homes, he said. He estimated the damage at $3.6 million.
My first thought was that it was an exploding meth lab, although, at least in Indiana, it's still rare to see meth labs in neighborhoods that nice and/or intimate.

Everyone is, of course, extremely curious to find out what caused the blast, and the FBI has been brought in to assist in the investigation.

How terribly frightening.

The victims of the blast have been identified as second-grade teacher Jennifer Longworth and her husband, John Dion Longworth. My condolences to their family, friends, and colleagues.

And my sympathies to all who have been affected. There are a lot of displaced people; a lot of people who have lost their homes or sustained significant damage to their homes and/or other property; a lot of people, including emergency workers, who have been through a serious trauma; a lot of pets who are traumatized, some still awaiting rescue from damaged homes. There will be a lot of recovery, and I hope everyone gets the support they need.

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