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A Vancouver Car Crash Lawyer Shares the Story of an Exploding Toyota

Jeffrey S. Witten, B.A., LL.B.
Personal Injury Lawyer at McComb Witten Marcoux

Posted on Jun 10, 2013

A Vancouver car accident lawyer at McComb Witten recently learned of a shocking explosion on Nicola Street at Robson in the West End. The blast shocked the entire West End neighborhood.

 

The accident occurred on Wednesday, May 22, 2013. Authorities say that a plumber’s Toyota Matrix leaked acetylene gas, which ignited spontaneously, causing the vehicle to explode just before 7:00 a.m. The explosion scattered metal and damaged nearby apartment buildings up to 12 stories high. Authorities found the hood of the Toyota several meters away, hanging from a tree. Several cars and four different apartment complexes suffered damage in the event.

 

Michel Hachey, the owner of the Matrix, was not injured. Had he been close to the vehicle or inside it, it is very unlikely that he would have survived. Fortunately, no local residents were hurt. However, two motorists suffered injuries, when splintered glass blew on to their faces, as they drove past the Matrix. They were taken to a local hospital for treatment.

 

Local resident Loren McLaren described the incident. She said, “I didn’t think it was real … the car was flaming … people were screaming in the street.”

 

According to a Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services spokesman, Hachey used an electronic key to pop open his car. This action apparently ignited gas that had escaped from an open or leaky tank. Captain Gabe Roder, of Fire and Rescue Services, said, “Vancouver Fire would like to remind all citizens that it’s dangerous to both store and transport any type of gas, be it gasoline, propane, or acetylene, in the passenger compartment of a vehicle.”

 

Plumbers often use acetylene on fittings and in pipes, but they typically transport it in specially outfitted commercial vehicles.

 

 

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