Blast in Watsonville, heard for blocks, destroys city employee’s car
(Mercury News) A large explosion ripped through a city of Watsonville parking lot late Monday, demolishing a car owned by a city employee and blowing out the second-floor windows of an adult school on Main Street.
Deputy Police Chief Manny Solano said the car, a Chrysler 500 sedan, was unoccupied and parked next to Watsonville-Aptos Adult School on the 200 block of Main Street when it exploded. The force of the blast rocked the nearby police station and sent students in the school scurrying for cover.
No one was injured in the blast, Solano said, but the windows in the Porter Building, above where the car was parked, were blown out.
The mangled remains of the car sat covered in foam, the parking lot surrounded by police tape as arson and bomb squad investigators combed the scene.
Solano said it was too early to tell what caused the explosion, but said of his fellow city employee, “We are concerned for their safety and are making sure that their family’s OK.”Investigators will determine whether an explosive device caused the blast or if it was a mechanical problem with the car.
“We don’t know if they (the city employee) were the intended target, if anything was present in the car or whether it was electrical,” Solano said.
But the blast, which could be heard for blocks, blew out the windows, doors and trunk of the sedan, which resembled a hunk of burned out metal.
Solano declined to identify vthe employee for safety reasons, but said the
employee was at work when the accident happened and was not injured.
Firefighters remained on scene for about an hour and the parking lot remained taped off for hours after the incident as investigators combed the area for debris and clues.
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