Police See Foul Play in Neighborhood-Destroying Blast

The Slatest
Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Nov. 20 2012 10:05 AM

Police See Possible Foul Play in Mysterious, Neighborhood-Destroying Explosion

The mysterious and massive late-night explosion in an Indianapolis neighborhood earlier this month that left two dead and a large swath of a subdivision in rubble is now being investigated as a homicide, local authorities announced last night.

While city officials gave reporters few details on the investigation beyond its new classification as a homicide investigation, suspicion appears to be focusing on a mysterious white van spotted by neighbors just prior to the explosion, according to CNN. While the house where the Nov. 10 blast originated was empty at the time it went off, the explosion killed a husband and wife next door and flattened several neighboring homes. The subsequent blaze, which required at least 60 firefights to extinguish, damaged dozens of nearby homes as well.

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Authorities believe that natural gas was involved in the explosion. The home owners had recently fixed a problem related to their house's furnace, according to the Associated Press. But those living nearby the blast site have focused on the possibility that the explosion was no accident, something that authorities apparently now believe might be worth looking in to.

Here's the AP with more:

...[Doug] Aldridge, [who heads the neighborhood crime watch], said he and other residents frequently saw a white van parked outside the home, though he didn't know who owned it. He said residents are angry and upset but that he expects most of them to stay in the neighborhood.
"Everyone had their suspicions," said Chris Sutton, who lives a street away from the blast site. "It's kind of scary that someone might set off a gas explosion," he added. "It's really scary."

There's a $10,000 reward from federal authorities for information related to the blast.

Abby Ohlheiser is a Slate contributor.

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