Florida

They were transporting a propane grill in their SUV. Then she lit a cigarette, police say

By Greg Hadley

ghadley@mcclatchy.com

A couple driving near the Central Florida Fairgrounds suffered burns and a collision with a pole near the road, after a lit cigarette ignited the propane gas in the car.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, the couple, who were not identified by police, were driving with a barbecue grill in the back of their Kia Sorento on Sunday afternoon. Per WKMG, the grill was on, and its propane tank was connected and open.

Per WFTV, the woman in the car, a passenger, lit a cigarette, which ignited the fumes and tank of propane, causing an explosion.

According to Spectrum News 13, the driver lost control of the car and it collided with a pole near the roadway. Both people in the car were treated for burns, though police announced that none of the injuries were life threatening. They have since been transported to a local hospital.

Images shared on social media by Orlando Police show the car in ruins, with the windshield completely blown out and the roof partially removed.

According to the National Fire Prevention Association, there are more than 7,000 gas grill fires and 287,000 car fires every year. Car fires, on average, cause 480 deaths per year. The same organization estimates that smoking materials result in roughly 90,000 fires every year and 540 deaths, though most of those fires took place in homes or outside.

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