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Exploding propane tanks in burning stolen truck startle Nanaimo residents

Pickup stolen from Nanaimo Airport parking lot found fully ablaze on Benson View Road
Benson View Road residents were startled by loud bangs when propane tanks exploded in a burning stolen pickup truck early Sunday, May 15. (File photo)

Exploding propane tanks in a stolen pickup truck made for a noisy night in Nanaimo’s East Wellington area yesterday.

Police were called to the Witchcraft Lake Regional Trail parking lot on Benson View Road about about 1:30 a.m. Sunday, May 15, after reports from neighbours.

“Residents in the area heard what they thought was a vehicle collision and saw a vehicle driving by and they reported it,” said reserve Const. Gary O’Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman. “[Officers] attended to find a stolen Ford F-350 fully ablaze.”

O’Brien said the pickup was unoccupied, was a total loss, and had been stolen from the Nanaimo Airport parking lot in Cassidy on Thursday, May 12.

“It was stolen from the airport and their CCTV cameras showed the suspects arriving in a stolen vehicle and then stealing … the Ford F-350,” O’Brien said.

He said the “significant explosions nearby residents heard” were propane tanks in the truck that exploded.

Police are continuing their investigation into the incident.

READ ALSO: Nanaimo RCMP investigating suspicious car fire in hospital area

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Chris Bush

About the Author: Chris Bush

As a photographer/reporter with the Nanaimo News Bulletin since 1998.
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