SUV Explodes in Supermarket Parking Lot After Man Lights Cigarette Near Propane Canisters

A man survived the May 23 incident but sustained burn injuries

<p>NBCLA/ Youtube</p> Toyota 4Runner explodes

NBCLA/ Youtube

Toyota 4Runner explodes

A man living in an SUV was injured but survived when his vehicle, which contained canisters of butane, exploded as he was trying to light a cigarette on Thursday night, May 23.

The incident occurred around 10:30 p.m. local time in a Van Nuys, Calif. shopping center when an unidentified 37-year-old man tried to light a cigarette near a Toyota 4-Runner, the Los Angeles Fire Department said, according to KTLA 5, The Los Angeles Times, NBC 4 Los Angeles and CBS affiliate KCAL.

When first responders arrived on the scene at the 7200 block of Van Nuys Boulevard, they found the vehicle had exploded and the man had sustained moderate burn injuries. The man told authorities he was trying to light a cigarette at the time of the explosion, reports KCAL.

The sound of the explosion could be heard several blocks away, witness Ken Smith told KCAL. Smith, who lives near the parking lot, said the explosion was "like an earthquake rattling the windows" but "was gone as soon as it started."

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The man was transported to a nearby hospital to be treated. The LAFD transferred the incident to the Los Angeles Police Department as no active fire was present, an LAFD spokesperson told PEOPLE.

The LAPD closed the parking lot. No other people were injured and no other vehicles were damaged.

PEOPLE has reached out to the LAPD for further information.

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