The simple mistake that caused truck to explode, killing driver


Extraordinary video has been released showing a devastating truck explosion that killed a young man as he moved house in Melbourne.

The blast on a Footscray street was caused by a simple mistake with a barbecue gas bottle.

Anthony Carnivale, 24, was driving the Avis rental truck alone, excited to be moving house.

But an accidental time bomb in the back of the truck was ticking down to zero.

Confronting footage of the moment the van exploded has been released by the coroner, showing a street becoming a scene of utter devastation.

Confronting footage of the moment the van exploded has been released by the coroner, showing a street becoming a scene of devastation. Source: 7News
Confronting footage of the moment the van exploded has been released by the coroner, showing a street becoming a scene of devastation. Source: 7News
Anthony Carnivale, 24, died when his rental truck exploded on a Footscray street. Source: 7News
Anthony Carnivale, 24, died when his rental truck exploded on a Footscray street. Source: 7News

The coroner concluded that the explosion in December 2013 was caused by three LPG tanks being transported with his BBQ.

The driver had no idea their valves were partly open.

Experts suspect batteries likely sparked the blast, which were so powerful it shattered windows in nearby apartments.

Debris struck power lines and shrapnel flew into windscreens.

The street was a scene of devastation after the explosion. Source: 7News
The street was a scene of devastation after the explosion. Source: 7News

“LPG is an extremely dangerous fuel,” Energy Safe Victoria’s Paul Fearon said.

Bystander Russell Bannister was the first to the wreckage, but had not seen the footage until now.

“It makes me realise how quickly we can go,” he said. “He would never have seen that coming.”

Mr Fearon said the event was “tragic and terrifying,” but also avoidable.

Other motorists head to the scene of the explosion. Source: 7News
Other motorists head to the scene of the explosion. Source: 7News

A safety valve will now be introduced in LPG tanks to stop gas accidentally escaping, but the change won’t happen in time for summer barbecues this year.

It is likely safety valves will become mandatory in 2020, but there are more than 10 million LPG cylinders in Australia and the transition could take up to a decade.

Experts warn drivers not to transport tanks in the car’s cabin, but to use the boot instead.

“A lot of people have got SUVs so you’ve got no boot,” Melbourne Fire Brigade commander Frank Besanko said.

“My recommendation would be to open your windows, don’t have your family in your car, just in case.”

Safety valves like this will be mandatory from 2020. Source: 7News
Safety valves like this will be mandatory from 2020. Source: 7News

Anthony Carnivale’s mother posted on Facebook: “There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think of you, my son. You were an absolute gem and you’ll be forever missed.”

“I guess it takes a disaster for change to happen,” Mr Besanko said.

“It’s a change that should have happened sooner.”

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