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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, January 20, 2011

Bucket of gas linked to van explosion

According to one of the victims, an open bucket of gasoline caused a van to explode on Kamber Road Wednesday. All three people in the car, two men and a woman, all of Bellevue, suffered burns and were still being treated at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle Thursday.

The woman told Bellevue police investigators that she and her friends got gas minutes before the explosion. They were having problems keeping the van running, so filled an open bucket with two gallons of gas. 

The engine cowling, which is located between the two front seats of this van, had been removed.  They used a water bottle to transfer gas from the bucket directly into the carburetor in order to keep the engine running as they drove east on Kamber Road. By then, the older model Chevrolet van was filled with gas fumes. The vehicle finally stalled just before 145 Place Southeast.  As they tried to restart it, the van exploded.  The van became fully engulfed in flames and started rolling backwards.

Witnesses said the female jumped out the back of the van and fell to the ground on fire.  The van rolled over her leg.  The two males jumped out of the van and ran towards the Chevron station on the corner.  All three were on fire and trying desperately to put it out.  One male made it to the Chevron station and tried to douse himself with water.

Bellevue Police and Bellevue Fire personnel responded immediately and the burning vehicle was quickly extinguished. The three victims were transported to Harborview Medical Center where they remain today. The names of the victims have not been released at this time. 

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450 110th Ave. NE
P.O. Box 90012
Bellevue, WA 98009
Contact: Officer Seth Tyler
Phone: 425-452-4129
E-mail: bellevuepd@bellevuewa.gov

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