LAKE WORTH —Narcotics and arson investigators are helping determine what caused an explosion inside a car along the frontage road of Loop 820 in Lake Worth Wednesday night. The explosion injured five people, four critically.
Witnesses described seeing a fireball engulfing the Ford Taurus around 8:15 p.m. There was a big explosion followed by a smaller explosion. Lake Worth Police Department spokesman Don Price said it began in the back seat.
"When our first units arrived, the vehicle was on fire. They encountered five patients that were up in the field away from the vehicle," said MedStar spokesman Curtis Young. "All victims had somewhere between 30 and 60 percent burns."
The four most critically injured were airlifted to Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, which specializes in treatment of burn victims.
A fifth patient went by ground ambulance to another hospital. All of the vehicle's occupants were said to be in their 20s. All of the victims were said to be conscious when they left the scene.
While Price stopped short of declaring the incident a criminal investigation, he said the fire was suspicious, which prompted the involvement of narcotics and arson investigators.
Traffic was blocked as at least four medical helicopters landed to ferry victims to the burn unit at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas.
There has been no determination about what triggered the blast. The Lake Worth Fire Department chief and fire marshal were at the scene as part of the investigation. Arson investigators have been called to assist in the operation.
No names were released due to an ongoing investigation.