Police: Man who blew up van in Methuen neighborhood could face several charges

METHUEN, Mass. (WHDH) — A Methuen man suffering from serious burns after blowing up a van he was living in Tuesday afternoon could face an array of charges, police said.

Officials responding to Hitching Post Lane around 4 p.m. for a report of an explosion found the vehicle on fire, prompting the evacuation of the neighborhood.

“Once we began looking at the vehicle, we were concerned,” Police Chief Joseph Solomon said. “One, we did have some leaking gas. Two, what appears to be methamphetamine was found inside the car and there was a propane tank with a significant amount of wires.”

The gas fumes caused the vehicle to explode but the propane tanks did not blow, Solomon said. If the tanks did burst, then the explosion would have been much larger and potentially would have damaged homes and injured neighbors, Solomon added.

As a special team came in to handle the van, officers, along with a K9 unit, worked to track down the man inside who took off running.

He was found at a Dunkin’ Donuts in Haverhill, telling officers that he walked three miles through the woods to get there, police said. Officials transported him to a local hospital.

The man could face arson, drug and other charges for creating an explosive device, Solomon said.

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