An explosion in a moving Jeep scattered debris over a half-block area of an eastern Washington city early Saturday, severely injuring the man who was inside the vehicle with more explosives, police said.
Witnesses reported a flash of light and an explosion just after 1 a.m. from inside the vehicle, which then left the roadway and came to a stop, Spokane Police spokeswoman Monique Cotton said.
Officers found the driver with a severe hand injury. They applied tourniquets and took the man to a hospital, where staff said the first aid likely saved his life.
Police cordoned off streets in the area due to the possibility there might be explosives in the Jeep and sent in a bomb robot to confirm. Cotton said she did not immediately have details about the explosives or how many police found.
A bomb squad was on the scene until 7 a.m. defusing the explosives.
“It was an all-night investigation,” Cotton said.
Once the explosives were defused, Spokane police turned the investigation over to the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, she said. No arrests had been made.
Man loses hand after moving Jeep explodes in N. Spokane
A man reportedly lost his hand when an explosive device detonated early Saturday morning in a moving Jeep in North Spokane. Police said more explosives were found in the vehicle.
Police responded to a report of an explosion just after 1 a.m. near the 1200 block of East. Rich Ave., not far from Rogers High School. Witnesses described a flash of light and an explosion coming from a Jeep traveling south on Morton. The vehicle left the roadway and came to rest nearby. Witnesses said the explosion coming from the vehicle had scattered debris over a half a block.
Police said officers quickly located the Jeep and found the adult male driver who had suffered a serious injury to his hand from the explosion. Officers immediately administered first aid and the victim was later transported to the hospital. Hospital personnel indicated the measures taken by officers likely saved the man’s life.
Spokane Police Officers and SPD’s Explosive Disposal Unit responded to the scene along with ATF agents, AMR, and the Spokane Fire Department. Police cordoned off streets in the area due to the possibility there might be explosives in the Jeep. Additional explosives were found inside, and a bomb squad was on scene until 7 a.m. defusing them.
It was not immediately clear what led up to the explosion. The initial investigation indicated the device that detonated was a pyrotechnic-type device, commonly referred to as an M-1000. Authorities also said the device was not a bomb. According to SPD, the community was not believed to be in danger. Authorities said the explosion was an isolated incident.
The ATF was taking the lead in the ongoing investigation to determine if charges would be filed.