Damage estimates rise again: Blast's toll reaches $4.4M; additional investigators will aid hunt for clues

Damage estimates have risen again as code enforcement officers continue to assess houses shook by a massive blast on the southside.

They’ve found that six more homes than originally thought in the devastated Richmond Hill neighborhood were damaged, and they raised the overall damage estimate by $800,000.

New estimates are that the huge explosion caused $4.4 million in damage to 86 homes in the neighborhood off Sherman Drive and Stop 11 Road. Five homes are gone, and another 10 suffered such major structural damage that they might need to be demolished.

“There’s ongoing assessments trying to get an accurate dollar loss,” Indianapolis Fire Department spokeswoman Rita Burris said. “They’ve been able to go and get a better look at some houses.”

A massive explosion that rattled windows miles away killed a Greenwood elementary school teacher and her husband, destroyed five homes and damaged dozens more. City officials have since determined that 93 of the homes are safe to return to, though the majority suffered at least a broken window, a bent-up garage door or other minor damage.

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