Jeep Explodes In Española

Jeep explodes this morning on Paseo De Onate, in front of Cooks True Value store in Española. Courtesy/Valley Daily Post


A Jeep exploded at approximately 10:17 a.m. today on Paseo De Onate, in front of Cooks True Value store in Española. The explosion rattled windows for more than a mile around the scene. Unconfirmed reports indicate two individuals were taken to the hospital.

At the time of the initial explosion, police and emergency vehicles were already on their way, indicating that the vehicle had stopped and an emergency call had been placed prior to the first explosion.

Jeep explodes in Española. Courtesy/Valley Daily Post

The vehicle began burning furiously and within a few minutes of the initial blast, subsequent explosions occurred. Witnesses reported hearing four additional large blasts and debris was scattered 100 feet throughout the area.

Police evacuated people from surrounding areas as far as the Paseo De Onate bridge and Blake’s Lotaburger at 206 N. Paseo De Onate.

Drivers are advised to avoid the affected area for the next few hours.

UPDATED AT 11:20 a.m.:

The fire is extinguished. Volunteer firefighters at the scene have reported that the cause of the fire and subsequent explosions was a semi truck hauling hay that apparently collided with the Jeep.

Source: Valley Daily Post

UPDATED AT 1:42 p.m.:

NMSP News:

The New Mexico State Police is currently handling a hazmat incident in the city limits of Espanola. Around 11 a.m. today, a Jeep carrying canisters of an explosive substance was traveling on Paseo de Onate near the intersection of the Las Alamos Highway when at least one canister ignited, causing an explosion. The Jeep caught on fire as a result of the explosion. Two occupants in the Jeep sustained burns and were transported to the Presbyterian hospital in Espanola. 
Emergency personnel responding have since rendered the scene safe. Traffic is being diverted around the scene. State Police are investigating details of this incident. The investigation remains ongoing and no further details are available. When more information is available it will be disseminated.
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