MEMPHIS, Tenn. – A cleaning woman who was trying to light a cigarette inside her car instead ignited fumes from cleaning products and caused an explosion that blew out the vehicle's windows and sun roof, police said.
The woman, whose name wasn't released, suffered first- and second-degree burns on her face, arms and neck and was treated at a local hospital.
The blast, reported about noon in an office building parking lot, was the second time in a month that authorities responded to the report of a car explosion in the Memphis area, raising concern that the bomber had struck again, or had inspired a copycat.
Memphis Police Director Larry Godwin said the woman had a lot of cleaning chemicals, including bubble gum remover, in the trunk of her car. "We got a flash, a vapor-type flash," Godwin said.
The incident followed an intentional car bombing Feb. 4 in West Memphis, Ark., that nearly killed the head of the Arkansas State Medical Board.
Dr. Trent Pierce, 54, is still hospitalized and authorities have not made an arrest in that bombing.