A man was injured Tuesday when he tried to blow up an old school bus he'd been living inside in Methuen, Massachusetts, according to police.
The explosion happened on Hitchingpost Lane Tuesday afternoon.
Investigators found a propane tank, lots of wires, what appeared to be methamphetamines and an electric charging unit inside the vehicle.
“It appears to us preliminarily that it was rigged, he had cut a gas line, threw a cigarette down, which caused vapors to explode, what we call a flash over,” Chief Joseph Solomon said.
The man had been parked in a family member’s driveway in an upscale neighborhood.
When police got to the scene, he had taken off despite being badly burned, and officers searched nearby backyards trying to find him.
“They asked permission to walk on our property, to check around looking for something, an individual,” said Dodi Green, who lives in the neighborhood.
A relative was eventually able to reach the man on the phone. He had walked about three miles through the woods to a Dunkin Donuts in Haverhill.
Once located, paramedics took him to the hospital.
The bus was towed from the neighborhood, and the man is in the hospital being treated for serious burns to his face and his chest. He could face drug and arson charges, and will also undergo a mental health evaluation.
Police are not sure if what happened on the bus was a suicide attempt, but they do believe he intended to blow up the vehicle, which could have been incredibly dangerous for the entire neighborhood.
“Ultimately I just feel badly for the individual, that something would be so bothersome to him or he would feel like he needed to do that to himself,” Jen Pacini, who lives in the neighbourhood, said.
Following the incident, people were advised to stay away from the area, which was evacuated as a precaution, and the state police bomb squad and hazmat team were called to the scene.
The incident remains under investigation.