BRITISH COLUMBIA

Van Explosion At Port Moody McDonald's Injures 1

07/05/2013 07:21 EDT | Updated 09/04/2013 05:12 EDT
Getty
MILL VALLEY, CA - MARCH 12: A sign is posted in front of a McDonald's restaurant on March 12, 2013 in Mill Valley, California. McDonald's has retained its number one ranking in both global and domestic sales and continues to be the largest single restaurant brand in the world with company-store sales last year of $4.53 billion and franchise-store sales of $31.063 billion for a domestic total of $35.59 billion. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Leaking gasoline containers stored in the back of a van caused a large explosion outside the McDonald's restaurant on St. John Street in Port Moody, B.C., on Friday afternoon.

The explosion happened around 1:45 p.m. PT after the woman driver turned on the ignition, sparking the blast.She was taken to hospital with superficial burns.

Fire officials are warning people to properly store their fuel tanks.

"If the vehicle was involved in a motor vehicle accident, [there is] the potential there for a catastrophic fire event on the highway if the containers ruptured," said Port Moody Deputy Fire Chief Gord Parker.

Chuck Morris witnessed the explosion as he was leaving the fast food outlet.

"There was a white panel van with the roof blown right off, there was fire coming out the back, and that's when I noticed a girl trying to pull her way out of the passenger side of the vehicle," he said.

Morris said the victim was badly burned on her face and her hair was melted, but she was conscious immediately after the blast.

Business owner David Albert said his building nearby shook from the explosion.

"Just looking at the van right now, it's amazing that anybody would live though this. It is that destroyed," said Albert.

Earlier reports that two women were in the van at the time of the explosion turned out to be incorrect.