Restaurant evacuated after propane tanks explode at McDonald’s drive-thru in Coachella

News headline from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department:

At about 1:45 p.m. on April 21st, Coachella Police Officers, Cal Fire, and Indio Police officers responded to a vehicle fire/explosion at the McDonald’s Restaurant on 48th Avenue at Jackson Street in Coachella.

Investigation revealed a family of four, including two children, had stopped in the drive-through at McDonald’s and the driver heard a hissing sound coming from one of two propane tanks in the bed of the truck.  He put the truck in park and walked to the rear of the truck to check the tank.  When he moved one of the tanks, it exploded, causing the other tank to explode as well.  The blast caused the roof of the truck to buckle and the tailgate to blow off, striking a vehicle behind it.

The ensuing fire engulfed the truck, scorched part of the drive-through, and damaged the roof of the restaurant.

The patrons of the restaurant were evacuated during the incident.  The family in the truck was transported to a local area hospital after suffering from non-life-threatening injuries, including burns.

The Coachella Police would like to remind everyone to take added precautions as the temperatures begin to rise.  Make sure you don’t transport flammable materials in a location where they can be subjected to the heat.  Do not to allow children or pets to stay in your cars when they are parked, as the desert heat can be deadly, and it is against the law.  If you see a child or a pet alone inside a parked car, call 911.  Or contact our dispatch at (760) 836-3215, or provide information via email at

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

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