Indy Neighborhood Devastated by Deadly Explosion

Indy Neighborhood Devastated by Deadly Explosion

News Nov 11, 2012

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) -- A roaring explosion that leveled two homes and set two others ablaze in a huge fire forced about 200 people from an Indianapolis neighborhood where two people were killed, authorities said Sunday.

The powerful nighttime blast shattered windows, crumpled walls and inflicted other damage on at least 14 other homes.

Four people were taken to a hospital with minor injuries after the explosion and fire, the Indianapolis Fire Department said in a statement. Fire Lt. Bonnie Hensley said firefighters put out the flames and then went through the rubble and damaged homes one at a time in case people had been left behind. Two bodies have been recovered.

Some witnesses said in televised reports that they heard people screaming "Help me! Help me!" after the explosion and fire and that two parents and two children were safely pulled from one house that caught fire.

"This looks like a war zone; it really does," Hensley told The Associated Press. "Police officers and fire department officials remain at the scene searching for other possible victims." She said they used search lights until dawn as they peered into the damaged and ruined homes.

The fire department has not released the names of those killed. Hensley said one body was found in one of the leveled homes after the fire was put out.

Hensley said at least 14 other homes were damaged in the area by the Saturday night blast's shock wave or flying debris.

The explosion was heard for miles around. Authorities said they had no immediate information on the cause. The fire department and other agencies were investigating.

People who were asleep when the blast happened were evacuated in their pajamas, scooping up their pets as they left, authorities said. They left what some described as a chaotic scene of tall flames rising on the Indianapolis skyline.

Survivors reported shattered windows, caved-in walls and garage doors knocked off their hinges. Of the two homes that were leveled by the blast, Hensley said: "There's nothing left."

Continue Reading

Bryan and Trina McClellan were at home with their 23-year-old son Eric when the shock wave from the blast a block away shook their home. It knocked out the windows along one side of their house, and their first instinct was to check on their grandchildren, two toddlers who were in the basement. One was holding his ears and saying "Loud noise, loud noise."

Eric McClellan said he ran afterward to the scene of the explosion and saw homes flat or nearly so.

"Somebody was trapped inside one of the houses, and the firefighters were trying to get to him. I don't know if he survived," he said, adding that firefighters ordered him to leave the area.

All power, gas and other utilities in the area were shut off as a precaution as emergency officials swarmed the site.

About 200 people were taken to an elementary school, where some milled about in pajamas and coats they had grabbed as they fled. Some had their dogs on leashes, and one woman had evacuated her home with a cat. Most eventually left to stay with relatives, friends or at hotels, but 15 to 25 remained through the night, sleeping on cots.

Pam Brainerd, a 59-year-old hospice nurse, said she was asleep when the explosion blew out the upstairs windows in her house.

"I was sleeping on the sofa and all of a sudden, my upstairs windows were blowing out and my front door was falling in," Brainerd said. "My front door came off the frame. It was the largest bang I've ever heard."

She stepped outside and saw what she described tall flames one street away. "There was a house engulfed in flames, and I could see it spreading to other houses," she added.


Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Source
Associated Press
RICK CALLAHAN

Lee County, Fla. EMS will soon have its own substation in North Fort Myers. Chiefs for the North Fort Myers Fire District and Lee County EMS said it was time for a change because of overcrowding. 

EMS professionals are all taught to look for a MedicAlert bracelet or a necklace. This simple step has become much more complex in the information age, and we may not realize for what and where to look.
The drill involving over 200 people put multiple first responder agencies to the test.
The training was based on lessons learned from the Columbine shooting and taught school employees safety and security measures.
One third of the state's record-high 376 overdose deaths that occurred last year were caused by prescribed painkillers.
The training will be focused on prescribing buprenorphine, the drug used to assist patients in quitting their opiate addiction and relieve withdrawal symptoms.
One of the paramedics was treated after getting hit with shards of glass after the bullet went through the windshield, but the ambulance is not believed to have been intentionally targeted.
The drones are used to improve scene management by assessing areas that are difficult or dangerous for personnel to reach.
Dozens of firefighters and police officers join the annual week-long Brotherhood Ride to honor 20 first responders who have died in the line of duty in Florida.
The event will be held on August 20, with all proceeds going to Narberth Ambulance, an agency that provides emergency services to 145,000 residents.
Speakers presented on topics such as disaster relief, emerging pathogens, the opioid crisis and cyber security.
The state's Department of Health has established an agreement for UNC and NCBP to collaborate on providing public health data to NEMSIS to better prepare EMS for national emergencies.
State troopers rendered aid before turning them over to responding EMS units and New Castle County Paramedics.
Three people were fatally shot and at least 21 others were wounded in separate attacks from Saturday morning to early Sunday.