California Explosion Possibly Caused By THC Extraction

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A large explosion around noon in Dana Point, Calif. sent one man to the hospital in serious condition after an explosion and subsequent fire erupted. Officials have yet to definitively determine the cause of the explosion, but they suspect that it originated in a makeshift THC extraction lab in the garage of the house.

The 31-year-old man was badly injured in the explosion, and according to neighbor Mark Phelps, who rushed in to help, the victim's skin was falling off from the severity of the burns to his upper body and face. "Fire was going everywhere. It was just blowing up. I mean, there was explosion after explosion and fire balls coming out," Phelps told the local ABC affiliate.

The explosion blew the garage door out of its frame and propelled debris up to 150 feet in the air, by Phelps' estimate. It also damaged a number of homes in the surrounding area. Nobody else was injured.

Investigators put the fire out quickly, with little difficulty. As to what started the fire, investigators believe that the resident was extracting THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, based on the presence of butane and propane at the scene. No arrests have been made yet, however.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.