Police car explodes in Newburgh

State Police and the FBI say a fire in the trunk of the police cruiser caused an oxygen tank to explode.

State Police and the FBI say a fire in the trunk of the police cruiser caused an oxygen tank to explode. (10/18/16)

NEWBURGH - A Town of Newburgh police officer was injured Tuesday when an oxygen tank in the trunk of his car exploded.

Officials say Officer Taso Karabelas was responding to a report of an injured deer around 6:30 a.m. when he stopped at the intersection of Union Avenue and Gardnertown Road. The 36-year-old noticed smoke coming out of the trunk of the car, and he called headquarters to tell them he thought the patrol car was on fire. When he opened the door, the trunk exploded.

Newburgh town officials say the steel partition between the seats buffered the impact of the explosion and ultimately saved his life.

Karabelas suffered some cuts to his face and ringing in his ears. He was taken to St. Luke Hospital for X-rays and to be examined. He was released later in the day.

State police and the FBI are investigating, but at this point do not believe that the incident was suspicious.

 

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