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Police: FL Meth Lab Explosion Sends Two to Hospital

Tampa Bay Tribune via YellowBrix

April 20, 2011

DADE CITY, FL – Two people were burned, one severely, when a methamphetamine lab exploded inside a Dade City home Tuesday, Pasco County deputies said.

The victims, a male and female, were taken by helicopter to local hospitals. The male received burns to his face, and the female received burns to her left arm. Their names have not been released.

A second female who was in the home at the time of the explosion fled the scene before deputies arrived. It isn’t known whether she was injured. She hasn’t been identified, the sheriff’s office said.

The occupants were renting the home and weren’t homeowners, the sheriff’s office said.

A neighbor reported hearing an explosion about 5:15 p.m. at the home near 14th Street and Long Avenue, the sheriff’s office said. Investigators believe a meth lab caught fire in the home.

No arrests have been made in the case, which remains under investigation.

Neighbor David Carrillo said he was in bed when he heard the explosion, which shook his house.

He ran outside and saw his neighbors on the ground and screaming. There was black smoke everywhere and smoke was coming off the victims, he said.

“Looked like they got some kind of chemical burn because when they finally stood up, the guy’s face was melting like ‘The House of Wax,’” Carrillo said.

“You could see his eyes were already glazed over, like he went blind or something,” Carrillo said. “His hand was all burnt. The lady, she was on the ground and she was burnt all over. Her eyes were swollen shut.”

Carrillo said the victims had lived at the home for one or two months.

“I can’t get over how they were melting like wax,” he said.

Sgt. Mike Jones, with the sheriff’s office narcotics vice unit, said investigators found a clandestine meth lab. They dismantled it and disposed of the chemicals, he said.

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