SOUTHFIED (WWJ) – A man suffered minor injuries in a car explosion Thursday in Southfield.

Southfield Fire Battalion Chief Barry White said they received multiple calls about the blast in the area of 9 Mile Road and Beech Thursday afternoon.

White said firefighters heard the explosion at headquarters over three miles away. When they arrived on the scene, they found one victim and what was left of a vehicle in a driveway.

“We investigated the situation and it appears that these were old acetylene tanks that were on the property. The gentleman lived on the property … and he was taking the tanks to scrap them out,” White said. “Apparently one of the tanks still had some acetylene in it; it had leaked inside the vehicle. Right now we don’t know what the ignition source was.”

White called it “the most significant explosion” he’s seen in his 26-year career.

“There were pieces of the car that had been propelled at quite a high rate of speed. One was into the garage door, overhead door. Parts of the vehicle, significant body parts were blown 50 to 75 yards, away from the car ” White said. “So, yeah, the gentleman was very lucky to have just sustained the injuries that he sustained.”

The man was taken to the hospital for treatment for a head injury but he’s expected to be OK.

His name was not released.

Acetylene is a colorless glass used in metal-cutting and welding.


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