3 Hurt in Veggie Fest Explosion

Veggie Fest Explosion
Todd Diedrich - @obsidianspider

An explosion rocked an outdoor food festival in eastern Pennsylvania Saturday morning leaving three women hurt.

The Bethlehem Fire Department responded to the cooking accident at Mechanic & Adams Streets in Bethlehem, Pa. shortly before noon Saturday.

City police told NBC10 that a propane tank exploded causing undisclosed injuries to three people during the Bethlehem VegFest. Other reports had the explosion being caused by Sternos or an open flame.

A photo posted by Twitter user Todd Dietrich (@obsidianspider) shows a tent with the plastic roofing blown out of the food court area vendor.

Witnesses described hearing what sounded like a gunshot before seeing flames shoot 12 feet into the air.

"We saw a woman go running by. She had flames on her shirt," Ty Carpenter, who was staffing the beer tent on the opposite side of the food court, told The Express-Times of Easton.

Police confirmed three people were transported from the scene with first- and second-degree burns.

The tent belonged to Malaysian restaurant Jenny's Kuali, which is located nearby on E 4th Street in Bethlehem, Pa. When reached for comment, an employee at the restaurant would only say that they had a "medical emergency."

No immediate cause was given for the blast.

"We smelled the gas burning," said Megan Baker, a vendor at the event. "We smelled plastic burning. I had warned the family that they should be aware of the tent next to us because I felt like something could be wrong. Within five minutes it exploded."

Different vendors set up tents as part of the event. The vegan food festival continued as scheduled.

The VegFest “brings together an amazing array of vegan natural food providers, top national speakers and chefs, and educational exhibitors,” to the South Bethlehem Greenway, according to the event website.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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