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November 11, 2012

Two dead after blast devastates neighborhood of Indianapolis

INDIANAPOLIS — Splintered beams and boards on a piece of charred earth were all that remained Sunday where three 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.

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 de-scribed 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.

Some residents returned to their homes to retrieve a few belongings Sunday under police escort.

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