A driver has had a lucky escape after his liquid gas powered car exploded into a fireball when he lit a cigarette while at the wheel.
Peter Tidbury's Peugeot 607 was badly damaged in the explosion, with door panels blown out and pieces of windscreen hurled 50ft. Fears of further explosions saw nearby homes evacuated.
Mr Tidbury, from south-east London, was on his way to visit friends in South Yorkshire when he stopped at a filling station in Barnsley and put in 40 litres of gas.
"I fancied a fag so wound the window down again slightly and then lit up. I was doing about 30mph and as I lit the cigarette there was an almighty explosion," he told The Daily Telegraph.
"The windows went out, the bonnet went up and the boot went up just as you see in the Hollywood movies."
Mr Tidbury, 55, escaped with minor burns after the fireball singed his face, hands and legs and melted the lining of his jacket.
"I looked as if a firework had exploded in my face," he said.
It is thought that a leak in the pipe from the filler to the fuel tank allowed gas to seep into the car where it was ignited by the cigarette.
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