Napping Driver Escapes as Exploding Propane Tank Destroys New Car

A San Francisco man who was resting in the driver's seat of his Honda Civic managed to escape to safety after an exploding propane tank landed in his car.

Joe Castillo, by all accounts, is lucky to be alive after the exploding missile flew from across the street on Friday morning and destroyed his car, which he had just bought two days earlier.

Castillo had been reclining in his seat, waiting for his shift to begin at BayFab Metals in San Leandro. He escaped with only a minor shoulder injury.

The Alameda County Fire Department said the explosion was reported in the 800 block of Doolittle Drive about 7 a.m.

The propane tank from Alaco Iron and Metal Co. flew across the street flew 100 yards into the back of Castillo's Honda. Workers were recycling the gas tank and didn't realize it wasn't empty, fire officials said.

The back of Castillo's car was blown up and melted. The scene left Castillo's manager, Paul Tavares, feeling grateful that his employee survived.

"We should let him go buy the Lotto ticket," he said. 

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