Disinfectant Canister Explodes After Driver Lights Up In Taxi

The taxi driver sustained minor burns to his arm and face as a result of this explosive incident. 

It perhaps doesn’t need to be said that smoking is a rather unhealthy vice, with the health effects coming from this regularly taking a few puffs ranging from lung cancer to heart disease. Having said that however, it isn’t often that smokers manage to inflict burns on themselves while lighting up. 

Unfortunately for Radzi Mokhtar however, the 64-year-old taxi driver is one of the few to have suffered such a fate as a result of their smoking habits. Though the minor burns on his arms and face inflicted wasn’t simply because of him dropping ash onto himself or anything, but instead due to the act of lighting up accidentally ignited the leaking canister of disinfectant spray that was in his taxi at the time and thus causing an explosion within the vehicle.  

Occurring at Jalan CTA 4 near the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) around 3.30 p.m on the 24th of July, the taxi driver was just leaving the airport after dropping off a passenger when he decided to have a quick smoke break on the road. Unbeknownst to him however, the cabin of his Proton Exora was filled with highly flammable gas at the time from the leaking aerosol canister. 

So in the action of lighting his cigarette therefore, the unfortunate taxi driver had inadvertently ignited the leaking can of disinfectant spray. Hence causing the ensuing explosion within the cabin, which does look to have done quite a lot of damage to both the inside and outside of the vehicle. 

Taking a closer look at the pictures provided of the aftermath, it shows that the explosion has managed blown out nearly all the windows and the windscreen of this taxi. Both the driver’s and right rear door of this Exora too look mangled, with the outer door skins having separated from the inner panel. 

While on the topic of separation, the taxi’s rear bumper and tailgate too looks to have been blown off its mountings. Though the true severity of this in-car blast is perhaps more evidently observed via the newly created hump in the roof towards the rear of this Exora. 

Now it is perhaps worth highlighting at this point that lighting a cigarette isn’t the only way to set off the gas explosion, as static electricity discharge through the act of touching the radio for instance could also set the volatile and flammable gas off. The main moral of the story therefore in this instance is to perhaps not be leaving aerosol or pressurised gas canisters unattended within one’s vehicle, as there is actually a non-zero chance of it exploding even if it isn’t leaking. 

Another more minor lesson to takeaway here though is to perhaps not be smoking while driving. In fact, it is somewhat incredulous that smoking while driving is still amazingly legal in Malaysia. 

Given that texting and talking on the phone while driving is prohibited by law over here, what gives lighting up on the road a free pass? It is after all still a distraction to the main task at hand, and it also has the rather unpleasant byproduct of harming the health of other occupants in the car too. 

Joshua Chin

Automotive journalist. Professional work on and Personal writing found at Instagram: @driveeveryday

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