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Man critically injured after Cass County home explodes

According to a preliminary investigation, 51-year-old Jody Thompson, of Royal Center, Indiana, was asleep in his house when it exploded Sunday around 2 a.m.
Credit: LaShae Ward
A house in the 400 block of North Chicago Street, near East Black Lane, in Royal Center, Indiana, exploded Sunday shortly before 2 a.m.

ROYAL CENTER, Ind. — A 51-year-old man was critically injured Sunday morning after his house exploded.

Cass County sheriff's deputies and Indiana State Police troopers responded to multiple reports of a fire and explosion in the 400 block of North Chicago Street, near East Black Lane, in Royal Center, Indiana, shortly before 2 a.m.

According to a preliminary investigation, 51-year-old Jody Thompson, of Royal Center, was asleep in his house when it exploded.

A neighbor went to the home after he heard and felt the explosion. The neighbor kept Thompson in his vehicle until medics arrived.

Thompson was taken to Logansport Memorial Hospital but was then taken by ambulance to an Indianapolis trauma center. Officials said a medical helicopter wasn't available because of the weather.

"This is a terrible tragedy that critically injured Mr. Thompson while destroying his home and personal possessions," Cass County Sheriff Ed Schroder said. "We received reports of citizens hearing and feeling the explosion from at least 8 miles away."

Credit: LaShae Ward
Cass County Sheriff Ed Schroder said there were multiple reports of people feeling the explosion from at least 8 miles away.

The fire departments extinguished the fire, searched for other victims and assisted the Sheriff’s Office and State Fire Marshall’s Office with the investigation. Firefighters confirmed there was nobody else in the home when the explosion happened.

The incident is still under investigation. Anyone with additional information is asked to call the Cass County Sheriff's Office at 574-753-7800.

The Indiana State Fire Marshall’s Office, Royal Center Fire, Harrison Township Fire, Cass County Fire District #1, Logansport Fire and Cass County Emergency Medical Services also assisted with the incident.

Cass County is roughly 80 miles north of downtown Indianapolis.

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