June 16, 2024

Consider refraining from smoking in an SUV containing propane tanks.

Image: CBS News Los Angeles YouTube

Regrets to all you smokers out there, but smoking is unintelligent. It’s notably unwise when you do it near items that can harm you even more swiftly than cigarettes. Like something that can explode. One man discovered that lesson the hard way but surprisingly survived. Los Angeles news outlets state a man detonated himself and his Toyota 4Runner after igniting a cigarette while transporting propane canisters inside the vehicle.

The occurrence transpired on May 23 around 10 p.m. in the parking lot of a Van Nuys grocery store. Authorities arrived on scene and discovered the 4Runner entirely demolished, with debris scattered across the parking lot. It resembled it had been struck by a missile. According to residents in the area who conversed with CBS Los Angeles, the explosion produced such a deafening sound that it echoed blocks away in all directions.

The sound of the explosion could be heard at least a few blocks away, according to a man who lives around the corner from the parking lot, who said it was “like an earthquake rattling the windows.”

“But it was gone as soon as it started,” said Ken Smith, adding that he looked out his window and saw his neighbors standing outside their home and looking around after the loud boom.”

Toyota 4Runner explodes in Van Nuys parking lot

What’s incredible is that the man inside the 4Runner survived the explosion. When authorities arrived, he explained to them that he was lighting a cigarette when the SUV exploded. Authorities say the man had been living in the 4Runner and was carrying around small propane canisters, which were found in the vehicle debris. The man was taken to a local hospital and treated for minor injuries. And despite the scale and size of the explosion, no other vehicles in the parking lot were damaged from it.


Q: What caused the explosion in the parking lot?

A: The explosion was triggered by a man lighting a cigarette while carrying propane canisters inside his Toyota 4Runner.

Q: How did the man survive such a massive explosion?

A: Despite the intensity of the explosion, the man sustained only minor injuries and was promptly treated at a local hospital.


In conclusion, the incident serves as a stark reminder of the dangers of smoking near flammable substances. It is crucial to exercise caution and mindfulness in such situations to avoid catastrophic outcomes. Stay safe and prioritize your well-being over potentially risky behaviors.

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