Woman Says She Survived Cincinnati Car Explosion ‘For a Reason'

Officials said a propane tank in Loretta Gray's car led to the explosion, and they are investigating what set off the tank

What to Know

  • Loretta Gray's car exploded when he was driving it through a parking lot in Cincinnati Monday
  • She survived but suffered third-degree burns on her face and arms
  • Officials said a propane tank led to the explosion

After an Ohio woman’s car exploded as she drove through a neighborhood parking lot, Loretta Gray is healing from her third-degree burns, certain she survived “for a reason.” 

“I’m here for a reason; I don’t know what it is. Somewhere, someone needs me in their life,” Gray told NBC affiliate WLWT.

Gray had attended a cooking class at the Evanston Recreation Center in Cincinnati on Monday when the blast happened. She left and got in her car, where she had a propane tank that she was planning to return to the store. The tank was in the vehicle about three hours. 

Gray said she remembers “driving perhaps 20 feet and boom.” 

Surveillance video shows the moment Gray’s car exploded. Flames rip through the walls of the car and pieces of the vehicle shoot into the air. Windows are blown out and debris covers the street.

Gray told WLWT the blast was “really powerful,” and she wasn’t even sure if she was still alive in the moment. 

Cincinnati fire officials said the propane tank led to the explosion and they are investigating what set off the tank. 

Cincinnati police officer Perry Locke said he was just a few feet away from the explosion and “felt the sheer force.” 

“It was almost like it reverberated through me,” he told the station. “From the force of the boom, it took me a second to collect myself.” 

Locke sprang into action to help Gray out of the wreckage. When he got to her, he said she couldn’t see or hear after the blast.

“I saw her crawling to the passenger’s window, trying to get out. There was so much damage, it wasn’t going to open. So we had to get her through the window,” Locke said. 

Gray was taken to the hospital with third-degree burns on her face and arms. Now recovering at home, she says her injuries are “just superficial.”

“This will heal,” she said. “My life will go on.”

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