ESPANOLA (AP) — Authorities say a vehicle explosion in Española that injured two people was ignited when a lit cigarette came into contact with a canister of oxygen.
New Mexico State Police said Saturday that Henry Wilton and Eric Lucero are hospitalized with severe injuries at an Albuquerque hospital.
According to Sgt. Elizabeth Armijo, Wilton was driving a Jeep Friday morning that was carrying 15 oxygen canisters.
Lucero, the only other passenger, reached back while holding a lit cigarette in his hand to stop a canister from leaking.
Police say the canister blew up, causing the car to become engulfed in flames.
Both men were able to escape the vehicle before three other canisters exploded.
There were no other injuries.
Two vehicles sustained damage from debris from the scene.