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Ohio police officer pulls woman from car after explosion (video)

September 26, 2018

Ohio police officer pulls woman from car after explosion (video)

EVANSTON, Ohio — A police officer helped a woman to safety after a propane tank in the woman’s car exploded as she drove through a parking lot, according to reports.

“The car exploded. It just exploded right in front of me,” Cincinnati officer Perry Locke tells Fox 19.

“I felt the sheer force of the explosion. I was that close,” Locke tells WLWT Channel 5. “It was almost like it reverberated through me even though I had the windows up on the vehicle.”

The explosion occurred in the parking lot of the Evanston Recreation Center.

The driver of the vehicle, Loretta Gray, 65, was recovering at home on Tuesday with first-, second- and third-degree burns on her face, neck, ears and hands. She tells Fox 19 she had to rip off her burning shirt as she tried to escape from the car after the explosion.

“I was burning, yes, I remember how I got out of that car -- I looked at the passenger side and I crawled out head-first,” she says.

Locke arrived and helped Gray to the ground as she crawled out the window. He then pulled her away from the car, concerned there could be a second explosion.

“She couldn’t see or hear at the time,” Locke tells WLWT. “I didn’t know she couldn’t hear at the time, but I could tell she couldn’t see.”

Investigators believe the propane tank was leaking, but they’re unsure what caused it to ignite. They say only fumes from the tank ignited and the tank itself was still intact.

Gray tells investigators she wasn’t smoking and the tank was in the back of the vehicle, Fox 19 reports.

To comment on this story, visit Tuesday’s crime and courts comments page.

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