Meter results turned over to IFD, IMPD, DHS
INDIANAPOLIS – Citizens Energy Group said its workers have finished testing the gas meter for the home that exploded on Indianapolis’ south side Saturday.
The utility turned over those findings to the Indianapolis Fire Department, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police and Indianapolis Homeland Security.
Dr. John Goodpaster investigates explosions for a living, as the director of Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis Forensic and Investigative Sciences Program.
At the request of RTV6, he reviewed the aftermath of the deadly south side explosion that engulfed homes in flames late Saturday night, killing two people and creating a ripple of destruction.
“When you look at this damage, it literally does look like a bomb went off. It’s catastrophic,” said Goodpaster. “In terms of making a parallel, it’s equivalent to literally having a bomb dropped on you, so like a military ammunition dropped from an airplane would cause similar damage to this.”
With workers not finding problems with underground gas pipes, the National Transportation Safety Board has pulled out of the investigation.
Citizen Energy leaders say their workers haven’t found the cause either, with no evidence of a leak in the gas lines running to the homes.
Still, Indianapolis Homeland Security is convinced natural gas is behind the blast, and investigators are focusing on home appliances.
“It’s my opinion it looks like methane gas was the explosive and in that case you actually can’t identify that after the fact,” Goodpaster said. “You just have look at the scene itself, the type of damage that was caused.”
Goodpaster said it would take an appliance leaking gas for several days to create enough buildup to cause an explosion of this magnitude, but once it did, even something as simple as static could set it off.
“They are going to try to inspect whatever is left of the appliances. They’re going to look at the gas lines, they’re going to look for evidence of a leak,” Goodpaster said. “But we should also be prepared for that we may not find the ultimate clue. It may not be possible, given how much destruction has occurred, to actually confirm.”