SAN ISIDRO, Toledo District, Thurs. Oct. 11, 2018– Last night, October 10, Jose Rosales, 65, was filling his van’s fuel tank with butane when an explosion caused him to suffer minor burn injuries to his face. Police say the explosion was caused by a lit cigarette, but the Fire Department says they cannot confirm this.
Rosales, a taxi driver, visited Garcia’s Butane Gas Depot sometime after 6 p.m. and was filling his 2014 Ford 350 van, which is adapted to use butane instead of gas or diesel, when an explosion caused the Independence Village police to rush over. Rosales, who was sitting in the driver’s seat of the van, was the only person injured in this incident. A passenger in the van, who was seated beside him, was unharmed.
The van, however, was extensively damaged.
According to police, Rosales lit a cigarette and this caused the explosion. Benisford Matura, Assistant Fire Chief, said that personnel from the Fire Service were unable to ascertain if indeed the explosion was caused by a cigarette, because they have not yet interviewed Rosales to get his side of the story.
Matura said that at around 6:20 p.m., the firefighters arrived at the gas station and saw the van completely engulfed in flames. He said that there was a leaking butane tank in the rear of the van, and that played a part in the explosion.
When asked if the employee(s) of the depot should be sanctioned if someone had defied safety regulations and lit a cigarette on the premises, Matura said that there should definitely be some kind of sanctions levied.
Matura says that the operator who should have been filling the van’s tank was nowhere near the van when the explosion happened.
Police are currently investigating the explosion.