Maybe Don't Light A Cigarette In An SUV Full Of Propane Tanks

Image: CBS News Los Angeles YouTube
Image: CBS News Los Angeles YouTube

Apologies to all you smokers out there, but smoking is dumb. It’s especially dumb when you do it around things that can kill you even faster than cigarettes. Like something that can explode. One man learned that lesson thehard way but surprisingly survived. Los Angeles news outlets report a man blew himself and his Toyota 4Runner up after lighting a cigarette while carrying propane canisters inside the vehicle.

The incident happened on May 23 around 10 p.m. in the parking lot of a Van Nuys grocery story. Authorities arrived on scene and found the 4Runner completely destroyed, with debris all over the parking lot. It looked like it had been taken out by a missile strike. According to people who live in the area that spoke with CBS Los Angeles, the explosion was so loud it could be heard blocks away in all directions.

The sound of the explosion could be heard at least a few blocks away, according to a man who lives around the corner from the parking lot, who said it was “like an earthquake rattling the windows.”

“But it was gone as soon as it started,” said Ken Smith, adding that he looked out his window and saw his neighbors standing outside their home and looking around after the loud boom.”

What’s amazing is that the man inside the 4Runner survived the explosion. When authorities arrived, he explained to them that he was lighting a cigarette when the SUV exploded. Authorities say the man had been living in the 4Runner and was carrying around small propane canisters, which were found in the vehicle debris. The man was taken to a local hospital and treated for minor injuries. And despite the scale and size of the explosion, no other vehicles in the parking lot were damaged from it.

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