AN EXPLODING air freshener left this car a mangled wreck and put its driver in hospital.
The blast was caused when a lit cigarette ignited fumes that had leaked out of an aerosol can.
The doors, windscreen and roof were completely blown out following a “very loud bang” inside the Ford Focus.
One eye-witness told The Sun: “The roof ripped off like a sardine can.
“I heard a loud bang, a loud explosion and then a woman was pulled through the window.
“She didn’t look in a good way.”
Emergency services were called to the car park of B&Q in Southend, Essex, shortly before midday yesterday.
A woman who was freed from the silver 51-reg hatchback was taken to hospital with only minor injuries.
Shocked witness Albert Quixall said on Twitter: "Just missed witnessing car explosion near Southend.
"Very loud bang. Ford Focus doors, windscreen, roof blown out. B&Q staff rushing to help."
An Essex Fire service spokesperson said: "I don't think this has ever happened before – it's not something we've even seen before.
"The explosion happened after a build-up of gases from an air freshener was accidentally ignited by a cigarette."
Temporary Assistant Divisional Officer Justin Benson-Ryal said: "Incidents like this are extremely rare, but it is important for everyone to be aware how flammable aerosol cans, such as air fresheners and deodorants, can be.
"We strongly advise that you not to use an aerosol in a confined space and also you should not smoke during or shortly after use."
He said "quantities of aerosols" should not be stored in confined spaces nor exposed to sunlight and high temperatures.
A statement from East of England Ambulance, said: "An ambulance and ambulance officer were sent.
"They treated one patient of unknown age and gender for minor injuries.
"The patient was taken to Southend University Hospital."
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