Man sets self on fire with alleged mobile meth lab at Sikeston

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

SIKESTON, Mo. - Sikeston Department of Public Safety officers rescued a 23-year-old Sikeston man after an apparent meth lab exploded in his vehicle, the Sikeston Standard Democrat reported.

Around 1 p.m. Saturday, DPS officers with the Rescue Squad were traveling on U.S. 60 near Route AA when they saw an eastbound car on County Line Road, just north of their location. "A sudden flash appeared in the front passenger compartment of the car which appeared to be some type of explosion and/or fire," wrote Sgt. Jim McMillen in a news release. "The officers said they saw white smoke coming from the windows when the driver lost control and drove off the road, into the ditch."

The driver jumped from the vehicle while it was still in motion. According to McMillen, the vehicle continued to travel up the embankment of U.S. 60, then began rolling back toward the driver, narrowly missing him.

The officers immediately responded to give aid to the driver, who had second- and third-degree burns to his face and hands.

The vehicle's interior was burning, but the fire was quickly extinguished by the rescue truck on the scene.

"When asked what happened, the man told officers that he was making meth in soda bottle when it exploded," McMillen said.

Sikeston Public Safety's Fire Personnel responded along with EMS. Due to the extent of the injuries EMS requested AIR EVAC Air Ambulance to transport the victim to a burn unit in St. Louis.

Prior to being transported, the man was decontaminated with water because of the chemicals all over his body.

The department's Narcotics Unit collected evidence from the scene, and the SEMO Drug Task Force assisted.

The suspect's name is being withheld pending the filing of formal charges.

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