Sunday, November 11, 2012

Massive Explosion On Indy's Southside

A massive explosion in the Richmond Hills subdivision on Indianapolis' south side occurred late tonight. Early reports indicate that at least one home was entirely destroyed, two nearby homes were in flames and most of the homes in the subdivision located near the Johnson Co. line sustained damage. Witnesses believe it was a gas explosion. Police have evacuated nearby residents to an elementary school in the area. WISH-TV has amateur video footage taken shortly after the explosion took place.

UPDATE: WTHR has confirmed two fatalities. Both persons were occupants of the two homes destroyed by the initial explosion. Another five people have been hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries. At least 18 homes sustained significant damage from the explosion. Nearly 200 people have been forced from their homes as a result of the damage and the subsequent clean-up and recovery efforts. Officials have not yet confirmed if a natural gas leak caused the explosion. Fire officials have ruled out a plane crash, which some early callers had thought caused the explosion due to the proximity of the Richmond Hills subdivision to the Greenwood airport. The Red Cross is requesting monetary donations for those who wish to aid the victims. Dan Considine, a spokesman for Citizens Gas, says inspection of gas mains in the area have not revealed any leaks. The gas utility's personnel has not been able to gain access to the home where the explosion occurred yet. Citizens Gas had no record of prior reports of the smell of gas in the area of the explosion according to Considine.

Aerial view of damage caused by the explosion taken the morning after (Indianapolis Star photo)


LamLawIndy said...

Gary, is it confirmed that the explosion was caused by a gas leak?

Gary R. Welsh said...

No, Citizens Energy has not found evidence of a gas leak yet.

Cato said...

Interesting explosion. It appears to have its greatest power along two radial lobes, instead of in an undifferentiated 360-degree field.

If that is a natural gas explosion, it's among the most violent I've seen. Even more interesting is that production homes are not the most sturdily built, so it's quite odd to see a production home become such a pressurized bomb. If the home were three-course brick, that level of destruction would more more sense.

Still, Adam and Jamie have made some very potent gas bombs out of regular houses and proper stoichometry, so perhaps every home potentially can level this much damage.

Time for electric stoves, furnaces, dryers and water heaters.