Firecracker explodes in moving Jeep in Spokane


SEATTLE (AP) — Police say a firecracker was apparently the cause of an explosion in a moving Jeep in the eastern Washington city of Spokane overnight, and they don't believe there's a continuing threat.

Police say there was a flash of light just after 1 a.m. from inside the vehicle, which then left the roadway and came to a stop.

Donald Wilkes, a 61-year-old resident of the neighborhood, says the explosion blew off the driver's left hand.

Wilkes said the street was filled with smoke when he ran outside. His 30-year-old son helped the driver out of the vehicle.

Wilkes says the man was coherent but wouldn't say what he had been doing — instead, he just kept repeating "Oh God, oh God."

Police and neighbors applied tourniquets and helped save the man's life.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

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.