Southside homes torn down after explosion


A big yellow excavator tore into the remains of a home near the Richmond Hill blast site, scooped up parts of a wall and dumped the debris into the bed of a truck.

That sight will grow increasingly common over the next month, with about a fourth of the homes in the far southside neighborhood slated to be razed.

Demolition began Tuesday, a little more than two weeks after a major explosion killed Jennifer and Dion Longworth and damaged dozens of homes.

Various police and public safety agencies are conducting an investigation into what they believe was a criminal homicide case involving natural gas. About 30 investigators are sifting through the debris at four houses around the blast site, Indianapolis Fire Department spokeswoman Rita Burris said.

Four more houses will come down this week, and another six are set to be torn down next week. The city has issued orders to demolish a total of 33 homes, although an insurance company wants engineers to see if at least one of the houses can be fixed and salvaged, Indianapolis code enforcement spokesman Al Ensley said.

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