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Police: Alcohol was a factor in crash which caused the Melvindale explosion

The driver was saved by a friend who pulled him from the burning vehicle

MELVINDALE, Mich. – Officials from the Melvindale police department held a conference this afternoon to discuss the details surrounding the explosion that rocked the city and nearby areas early Saturday morning. 

Melvindale police chief, Chad Hayse, said the explosion happened after a 24-year-old man, who was driving while intoxicated , crashed into the DTE training facility building near Allen and Greenfield roads.

The crash caused a gas pipe to rupture leading to an immense explosion, which witnesses say could be felt for miles.

The driver, who was pinned inside his car, was saved by his friend who was following him in another vehicle. They both escaped with minor burns.

No injuries were reported at the site of the explosion and Hays said the drivers life was saved by his friend.

Without his friend helping him I don’t believe he would have gotten out, and if his friend would have taken another 5 -10 seconds to do so , I don’t think he would be here” said Hayse

Police say another car was burned when a bystander got too close to the explosion and his vehicle caught fire. The driver of that vehicle did not sustain any injuries, but his car was destroyed. 

When asked about the damage the vehicles around the explosion sustained, Hayse said there was nothing left but metal, and multiple DTE vehicles were destroyed along with the building structure all the way down to the asphalt. 

VIEW: Witnesses describe the scene near the Melvindale gas explosion site.

DTE Energy was quick to respond to the explosion,and the company says they're prepared for such incidences. 

“We train for these kinds of incidences, and we have a very serious and complicated emergency procedure process we follow, so working with Dearborn and Melvindale fire and police, we were able to mitigate the issues and happy no one else is hurt. “ said Paula Silver, Vice President of communications for DTE

Hayse said the driver was taken to a local hospital in stable condition and police are currently investigating the use of alcohol by the driver of the crash.