2 hurt in blast at Henry Ford Hospital parking garage

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

Two people were injured in a blast Friday when a hydrogen tank in their SUV exploded at a parking structure on the Henry Ford Hospital campus in Detroit.

Crews were called to the underground garage near Grand Boulevard around 6:20 p.m. on a report of a car explosion, said Deputy Fire Commissioner Dave Fornell.

Emergency personnel were on the scene when firefighters arrived and found the two victims as well as a totaled Dodge SUV, he said.

The totaled SUV at the Henry Ford Hospital parking structure Friday.

One of the victims, identified as a 72-year-old woman, was on the ground with burns and reporting chest pain, Fornell said.

The driver, a 53-year-old man, remained inside the vehicle. He told authorities "he had a hydrogen tank in the back and he was going to launch a weather balloon tomorrow and ... there was a leak in the valve that caused the explosion," Fornell said.

Henry Ford Health System said the pair had been at the hospital to visit a relative.

Fornell said the woman was initially listed in critical condition Friday night with facial injuries and possible internal injuries.

The man, whose relationship to the woman was not clear, was hospitalized in temporary serious condition and also had possible internal injuries, Fornell said.

Henry Ford Health System said late Friday one of the victims was listed in good condition and the other was temporary serious but did not release further details.

Meanwhile, vehicles parked on each side of their SUV also were damaged. The hospital closed the structure Friday night.

A hazmat team remained at the scene working to remove with the tank, Fornell said.