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Man survives after SUV explodes when he tried lighting up a cigarette inside

By Matthew Rodriguez

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    LOS ANGELES (KCAL, KCBS) — A man tried lighting up a cigarette in his SUV with propane canisters inside, leading to a sudden explosion with the vehicle flying into pieces in Van Nuys Thursday, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.

Firefighters and police rushed to a supermarket parking lot in the 7200 block of Van Nuys Boulevard after receiving a call about an SUV that exploded around 10:30 p.m., police said. When first responders arrived, the man inside the vehicle told them he had been trying to light a cigarette when the explosion happened.

He suffered minor injuries and was taken to a nearby hospital, according to LAPD.

Investigators with the agency determined it was a propane explosion

Pieces of the parked vehicle flew in every direction, one of which lodged into a nearby tree. The explosion left the Toyota SUV mostly in just mangled pieces. The sound of the explosion could be heard at least a few blocks away, according to 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.

LAPD closed the parking lot following the detonation.

No other details have been released by authorities.

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