Woman appears to have huffed cans of air in car before explosion blew out windows, police say

Police in Massachusetts said a woman appeared to have been huffing cans of air before lighting...
Police in Massachusetts said a woman appeared to have been huffing cans of air before lighting a cigarette, which led to an explosion in her car on July 22.(Sturbridge Police Department)
Published: Jul. 26, 2023 at 12:02 PM EDT
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STURBRIDGE, Mass. (WFSB/Gray News) - A woman survived an explosion in her vehicle over the weekend, according to police.

Police in Sturbridge, Massachusetts, said they responded to a call about a vehicle explosion on Charlton Road around 3:50 p.m. on Saturday.

When emergency crews arrived, they said they found a car with all the glass blown out and all four doors open but still attached.

Firefighters reported that they found a woman with minor injuries, whom they treated at the scene. She refused to be taken to a hospital.

Though the woman wasn’t identified, her vehicle had Connecticut plates.

The investigation remained ongoing as of Wednesday, but police said it was suspected that the woman may have been in the car with the windows closed huffing cans of compressed air. She then attempted to light a cigarette.

Police cited the American Addiction Centers in their news release.

“Huffing is a type of substance abuse that involves inhaling fumes from household substances in order to experience a high,” they cited.

“Often times these fumes are highly flammable,” said Chief John Grasso of Sturbridge Fire Department. “The buildup of these fumes inside the car followed by the attempt to light the cigarette appears to have caused an explosion resulting in the injuries to the female and the damage to the vehicle and surrounding vehicles.”

The Sturbridge Police Department responded to the scene and helped the owners of other vehicles that were damaged from the incident.

No other injuries were reported.