Chemical explosion in car sends two to hospital for treatment

JEFFERSON COUNTY — Two people were hospitalized late Saturday night, after an apparent chemical explosion inside their vehicle as they were traveling on Woods Lane near Baseline Road, just southeast of Centralia.

The two, described as a female driver and male passenger were taken SSM Health St. Mary’s Hospital in Centralia for treatment. The female reportedly jumped from the vehicle as it was still moving and was treated for a combination of injuries that included road rash and chemical exposure.

The male, however, reportedly received chemical burns. He was initially decontaminated by hospital personnel and the Centralia City Fire Department, but was subsequently transferred to a St. Louis area hospital for further treatment. Their names have not yet been released.

The incident was first reported as a possible cherry bomb thrown into the car, but first responders from the Centralia Fire Protection District who responded to the scene determined that was not the cause.

While the incident first occurred in Marion County; the car traveled across Baseline Road and came to a stop in Jefferson County.

Jefferson County officials are handling the incident, but have not yet made reports available.