Authorities in South Dakota are conducting an investigation into a devastating house explosion that resulted in the loss of three lives and severe injuries to two young children.
The incident occurred around 10:20 a.m. on Wednesday at a residence located approximately 11 miles southwest of Fort Pierre, according to Stanley County Sheriff Brad Rathbun.
Tragically, the explosion claimed the lives of 6-month-old Harper Hupp and her grandmother, LaDonna Hupp (61), at the scene. William Hupp (66), the grandfather, succumbed to his injuries at a hospital, according to the AP and Fox News.
Two boys, Myles (5) and Royce (3) sustained serious burns and were airlifted to a burn unit at a hospital in St. Paul, Minnesota. The children’s parents, Kelsey and Trevor Hupp were away at work in Pierre when the explosion occurred. LaDonna and William Hupp were Trevor Hupp’s parents.
Providing an update on the children’s condition, Kelsey Hupp shared on a Caring Bridge account that Myles has suffered first- and second-degree burns covering 10% of his body, while Royce has endured third-degree burns on 25% of his chest and arms.
Although their recovery will be a challenging journey, both boys have shown signs of resilience, such as squeezing hands and wiggling toes, and even waking up from sedation at times.
The family has received an outpouring of support, with funds being raised through GoFundMe and First Dakota National Bank, where Trevor Hupp was employed, according to a GoFundMe campaign. Meanwhile, a GoFundMe page created to help support them has already raised over $322,000 as of Thursday.
Neighbors in the rural area heard the explosion and promptly alerted authorities, prompting an investigation by the South Dakota State Fire Marshal’s office. While the cause of the explosion is still under investigation, Sheriff Rathbun stated that foul play is not suspected at this time. The community continues to rally behind the grieving family, offering prayers and support during this challenging period.