Yesterday, a lunch truck exploded into a wall of fire in the city's Feltonville section when around 5:30 p.m. the rear left propane tank ignited. The truck parked outside an automotive repair shop, and it is believed to be an accidental explosion of the truck's propane tank, used for cooking, but police are investigating. As the fireball engulfed the truck a mother, 42, and her teen daughter who worked on the food truck were severely injured. According to Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small the two were rushed to area hospitals and are in critical condition with burns across a substantial part of their body. The explosion also injured 9 others who were treated at area hospitals.
According to the Philadelphia police, the La Parrillada Chapina food truck was parked along 3rd Street near Wyoming Avenue in the city's Feltonville section when around 5:30 p.m. the rear left propane tank ignited. According to reports the force of the blast sent the metal tank flying 50 feet into the backyard of a home as flames shot 200 feet into the air. Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Scott Small stated that “"We want to ensure that this was an accidental explosion. We want to ensure this wasn't anything criminal.” He continued and said, "The bomb squad is investigating to see if there is any foul play. That will be the result of a completed investigation."
The explosion sent neighbors running and caused damage to other buildings in the vicinity. According to reports today, the 42-year-old mother and her 17-year-old daughter are both in critical condition at Temple University Hospital. The 23-year-old woman and 13-year-old were both upgraded from critical to stable. Police say the 23-year-old suffered second and third-degree burns to her entire body. The eight other victims were treated and released.
The explosion, which could be heard for miles, was caught on video on surveillance cameras. The explosion was so intense that one of two that fuels the food truck, was found about 150 feet away in a residential backyard and that a telephone pole across the street caught fire, but the fire did not reach any of the homes across the street or businesses that were next to the truck. Two cars driving by the explosion caught fire briefly.
The investigation continues into the explosion.