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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

wordless wednesday - car explodes

This is more like a WORDFUL Wednesday.... but I can't show these photo and not give an explanation.

The day before Halloween I was changing my daughter in the morning and a HUGE explosion happened. I jumped a million feet and grabbed my daughter off the bed and ran out of the house. I thought our house had exploded or was on fire or a neighbors house had blown up. I've had a house fire before and didn't want to be stuck inside so ran for the door. What I saw when I got out there was a car in flames from front to back and car parts spread more than 100 feet around. I was shocked and even more shocked when I saw an arm hanging out of the drivers side door moving. I first thought it was something blowing in the wind, but quickly realized it was a conscious person sitting in a burning car not able to get get out. The doors were blown off/open (as you see in the photo above) but he was unable to get out because I'm sure he was not with it after being in this explosion.

I screamed and screamed "there's somebody in that car... Is there somebody in there????" over and over again just waiting for someone to run to the burning car and pull this person out. I, like others, was in shock and had my 22 month old daughter in my arms half dressed. I couldn't exactly put her on the ground and run to the burning car, or take her with me so I felt so helpless. Finally a woman ran to the car and started pulling him out. They tossed water on his feet because they were stuck to the floor and the steering wheel was melting to his hand. She pulled him to the middle of the street where he lay, on fire still. She yelled "get more water!!" to a neighbor and I was yelling "No.. Roll him, Roll him, put blankets on him". At the time I thought he had heard me because as he was on the ground he was trying to roll around as much he could, but I found out later his ear drums were blown out from the explosion so he probably didn't hear me.

Some neighbor(s) took off their shirts and started putting him out and there he lay, in the street, in horrible pain, moaning, rolling.... the most awful thing I've ever seen.... ever. A police officer showed up just at that point and the car exploded again slightly so he drug him to the curb.
The ambulance put him on a gurney and off he went to the hospital.

Immediately the ATF, bomb sniffing dogs, detectives and bomb squad had blocked off our street to do an investigation. This was not just a gas tank explosion and everyone knew it. We live on a quite street with no crime so everyone was nervous. News crews arrived to do reports and 6-8 hours later, investigators figured out that he had acetylene gas tank in the back of his car. He had put it in the back of his car the night before with plans on exchanging it the next day. He didnt' know it, but it had a slow leak that filled the car with the gas. He turned the car on in the morning to go to work and immediately it exploded. This gas tank is used in welding and is orderless so he didn't smell anything when he got in.

He was burned 15-20% of his body and his eardrums were broken. He's doing fine thankfully. I still think about it and wonder if he would have had less burns if I had pulled him out of the car instead of standing there watching. I think I was the first one out there... so I could have probably gotten him out sooner... maybe not. I don't know. I'm just glad he is doing fine and alive and wanted to share this experience.

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Aspiemom said...

That is just an amazing story and your pictures were great. That poor man!!!!

sheila said...

OMG that's one of the most exciting posts I've ever read!

Great pics! Amazing explosion! Poor guy!

Alicia said...

Oh my goodness!! At first I thought this was a prank (with a dummy instead of a real person). I'm so glad he's doing okay. wow!

Stacy C. said...

Oh my goodness!! I can't believe that happened outside your house.

Shynea @ Penny Pinching Diva said...

I feel so bad for this person. One of my greatest fears is getting in a car accident and no one being around to help. If I were in your situation, I don't know what I would have done. I would have been a nervous wreck. I am glad to hear that this man is okay. Thank you for the pictures that accompanied the story.