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Five people critically hurt when a propane tank on the back of a food truck exploded along a busy Philadelphia street remain hospitalized on Wednesday.
Olga Galdemez, 42, and her daughter Jaylin Landaverry, 17, were working inside their food truck, La Parrillada Chapina, at 3rd Street and Wyoming Avenue when the 100-pound tank blew around 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday. The truck was equipped with two such tanks filled with gas.
Investigators believe propane vapor began leaking from one tank and filled the truck. A flame from the grill inside the mobile restaurant provided the spark, officials said. Witnesses told detectives they smelled gas before the blast.
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The propane fueled a fireball that engulfed the truck, the street and surrounding sidewalks. One tank was blown 95 feet away into the backyard of a home nearby, police said.
Galdemez's husband spent 20 minutes at the scene of the explosion on Wednesday morning talking with investigators from the Philadelphia Police Department, the Philadelphia Fire Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. The truck was properly licensed to operate, officials said.
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He confirmed that his wife and her daughter remain in critical condition with severe burns on large parts of their bodies. Both are hospitalized at Temple University Hospital.
Philadelphia Police said eight other people were hurt when the tank exploded. Two relatives of Galdemez – a 13-year-old girl and 27-year-old woman – and a 23-year-old man who was walking by remain in critical condition at area hospitals. All others were treated and released for their injuries.
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A car driving by when the propane ignited was enveloped in flames and damaged, but the 53-year-old female driver and a 3-year-old child inside were not hurt, police said.
The blast remains under investigation by the ATF's Arson and Explosives Task Force.
PHOTO: Olga Galdemez, 42, and her 17-year-old daughter, Jaylin Landaverry, pictured two years ago at the girl's quinceanera.