Police say that a car exploded after a man lit a cigarette moments after dousing himself with an aerosol body spray. The man worked as a chef for a local catering company and was spraying himself with the air conditioning on and the front windows rolled down. Police spokeswoman Jennifer Peach described what followed as,
“I would say it would be best to describe as a sudden and violent expansion of the air molecules in that vehicle.”
That “sudden and violent expansion of the air molecules” (I’m positive there’s a word for that) pushed the car’s roof up, blew the doors open, and shattered the windscreen of the car. The man inside was thankfully unharmed but he did some suffer some hearing loss and a few minor burns. We wouldn’t be entirely surprised if he needed a change of pants as well given that he experienced what might be considered a “bit of a shock”.
Police have since issued a caution regarding the use of body spray in a car, suggesting that you ought to avoid it.
Aerosol cans are notoriously combustible, and cause multiple injuries every year when people try to use them as makeshift flamethrowers. By pressurising flammable chemicals an aerosol can very easily become an explosive. In Ireland a man died when an aerosol was placed to near to his incinerator. When a door opened a gust of wind blew it over and it came into contact with extreme heat and exploded. Shrapnel from the can hit the man on the head and caused fatal injuries.
Man dies in Co Wexford after aerosol can explosion https://t.co/gvXGNEFGKQ— The Irish Times (@IrishTimes) 9 April 2017
In South Yorkshire a crash occurred when a man lit a cigarette inside his car not long after spraying body spray. An almost identical incident also occurred in Essex when a man in a DIY-store car park lit a cigarette moments after using body spray. The resultant explosion blew the doors open, pushed the roof up and smashed his windscreen, creating a scene that is remarkably similar to the one described above. Local firemen told reporters,
“The explosion happened after a build-up of gases from an air freshener was accidentally ignited by a cigarette.”
So it seems that the police are quite right to warn about the use of body spray in a car, especially if you’re a smoker. In fact, you should probably keep body spray cans far away from any sort of heat.