Philadelphia, PA: Food Truck Explosion Witness: “I’ll Never Forget the Screams”

One woman was badly burned and 7 others hurt when the propane tank on a food truck exploded in the Feltonville neighborhood of Philadelphia.

By David Chang   |  NBC Philadelphia

What Shaquille Glover heard Tuesday afternoon was almost as horrific as what he saw.

“The sounds of the screams,” Glover said. “I’ll never forget that.”

Glover was about to go inside his home on Wyoming Avenue in the Feltonville section of the city around 5:30 p.m. when he heard a loud blast.

“I heard a loud boom like a bomb,” Glover said. “So I turned around and this truck just started instantly smoking.”

 What Glover saw was the aftermath of an explosion inside a food truck on 3rd Street and Wyoming. Officials say a propane tank inside the La Parrillada Chapina food truck suddenly ignited, shooting out flames from the back of the vehicle. At least ten people were hurt in the fire.

“The propane splashed all the way across the street on a pole,” Glover said. “That’s why the pole was on fire and people that were walking by got burned. A lady got burned on her back. Another lady got burned on her face. It was just the sounds of the screams. There was a good two minutes of screams before the cops even came.”

Nicole Ellis, who lives in the same home as Glover, told NBC10 she felt her house shake.

“We thought something fell over,” Ellis said. “Then all of a sudden we heard screams. We walked outside and the truck was billowing fire.”

At least two people were inside the truck at the time of the blast, according to officials.

“They said a lady had been shot out of the truck from the explosion,” Ellis said. “A girl was walking by from the nail salon and her whole back got sprayed with debris. She was screaming all the way up the street, ‘I’m on fire! I want my mom! I want my mom!’ And then a man sitting on his porch actually got caught with fire as well. It was pretty bad.”

Ellis then called 911 in a panic.

 “I was screaming and yelling on the phone,” Ellis said. “I started panicking, because the lady was just sitting there and she was on fire. You could see the fire coming from her body.”

At least ten people, including a 25-year-old woman, a 40-year-old woman and a teenager, were hurt during the blast, police say. The 25-year-old woman suffered second and third degree burns to her entire body.

“We noticed that somebody was sitting at the table still that was burned, but the smoke was just going past her and getting to us,” Glover said. “They said they couldn’t touch her because she was burned, and we were like, ‘She’s either gonna die from the smoke or inhalation.’ Two minutes later, they grabbed her and put her in the ambulance.”

Responding firefighters were able to control the flames.

Officials have not yet revealed the identities or conditions of the victims.