Police Release Video From Propane Explosion That Critically Burned Couple at Truck Stop

Lorenz Duchamps
By Lorenz Duchamps
September 21, 2019US News
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Police Release Video From Propane Explosion That Critically Burned Couple at Truck Stop
The first-arriving officer can be seen approaching the burning pickup at the parking lot near the Pilot Travel Center in west Las Cruces, New Mexico on Sept. 17, 2019. (Still Image taken from video via CNN)

Shortly before 10 p.m. on Sept. 17, Las Cruces firefighters and police were dispatched to the report of a pickup truck on fire in a parking lot near the Pilot Travel Center in west Las Cruces, New Mexico, according to a police statement on Facebook.

The Las Cruces Police Department released bodycam footage of the explosion Thursday. In the video, the officer who first arrived can be seen approaching the burning pickup truck.

As the officer rushes toward the vehicle to provide assistance to the people near the burning vehicle, just as he is approximately 20 feet away, the propane tank explodes.

The second officer can be heard screaming, “get away from there,” as he moves toward the people near the truck.

A couple believed by investigators to be traveling from Michigan to Arizona were both injured in the blast, police said.

The officer escaped the explosion unhurt and can be seen in the video immediately helping to extinguish flames on the woman’s clothing after the blast.

After arriving, Las Cruces firefighters provided medical assistance to the victims and quickly extinguished the burning pickup.

The couple, a 63-year-old man and 59-year-old woman, both had to be transported to a nearby hospital for treatment. Authorities later transported them to a burn center in Lubbock, Texas.

According to the police statement, both victims sustained serious injuries from the explosion.

However, relatives of the two victims told Fox14 Thursday they are recovering from their injuries.

“It appears a generator in the bed of their pickup caught fire and the couple was attempting to extinguish it when a propane tank, also in the bed of the pickup, exploded,” police spokesman Dan Trujillo told ABC7.

How the fire started in the pickup remains under investigation, authorities said.

The couple’s pickup had a trailer with three horses and three dogs inside. Officials said the animals were not injured during the explosion.

An animal control officer took custody of the three dogs and a temporary shelter was found for the three horses, authorities said.

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