Two 14-year-olds were injured in when a vehicle carrying a tank of explosive chemicals blew up at at Plainfield Central High School, police said,
Shortly after 2 a.m. on Tuesday, police officers and firefighters received numerous calls about a loud explosion in the area of the high school at 24120 W. Fort Briggs Drive, according to a news release from Plainfield police Cmdr. Anthony Novak.
Emergency crews arrived on the scene and found a 2015 Ford Focus “fully engulfed in fire” in the south parking lot of the school, police said.
Two 14-year-old males were the victims in the incident,
They indicated they had left their homes without permission, and one had taken his father’s work vehicle, police said.
While the two teens were driving around, they heard a “hissing sound” coming from somewhere in the vehicle, police said. The teens pulled into the south parking lot of the high school and investigated the source of the noise.
That’s when an explosion occurred, police said.
One teen suffered head injuries. and he was initially taken to AMITA Health Saint Joseph Medical Center Joliet before being transferred by air ambulance to Loyola University Medical Center in Maywood, police said.
The other teen suffered a minor injury to his face from the blast and was taken to the Joliet hospital by ambulance.
“Currently, their conditions remain unknown,” police said.
The owner of the Ford Focus indicated he was transporting an acetylene tank in the trunk of the vehicle because of the nature of his work, police said.
Acetylene appears as a colorless gas with a faint garlic-like odor, and the chemical is “easily ignited and burns with a sooty fame,” according to the National Library of Medicine’s website.
“Flame may flash back to the source of a leak very easily. Under prolonged exposure to fire or heat the containers may rupture violently and rocket,” the National Library of Medicine’s website said.
The case remains under investigation by the Plainfield police and fire protection district, police said. Anyone with information should contact Plainfield police Detective Sgt. Kevin McQuaid at 815-267-7209.