Car explosion at US petrol station caught on camera


Warning: This video contains footage that may disturb some viewers.

Security camera footage reveals the moment a car exploded at a US petrol station, sending its owner rolling on the ground in flames.

The car burst into flames within metres of a fuel pump in Rochester, New York, just after midnight on Wednesday morning (local time).

It is understood a gas can in the back of the car caused the explosion.

The car's owner, a 45-year-old man, was putting the gas can in the boot of his car, police say.

The video shows him walking to his front seat and leaning inside, when the car suddenly explodes.

The man's clothes catch fire and he is thrown backwards to the ground, where he rolls over to put out the flames.

The victim suffered third degree burns on a third of his body, fire officials told local media.

"Gasoline is extremely volatile. Any time you have a gasoline-fed fire it is very dangerous," Rochester fire battalion chief Jonathan Young told local media.

"It could have been a lot worse. He could have pulled away, or he could have been just pulling up to the building. When it ignited when he could not have been able to get out of the car," Young said.

"Usually this problem occurs when someone comes to the store with a cigarette and they don't want to put it out," store owner Salem Nagi said.

"We have some fights with people who want to buy gas at the same time and make careless mistakes. We try our best to prevent problems but, sometimes we can't."

Fire investigators are finding out if the fire was sparked by something else in the back of the car, or someone smoking nearby.