A while panel van has crashed and caught fire at Oak & 53rd. Vancouver Police have said the van appears to be a mobile meth lab.
Update: Vancouver Police have said the cause of the explosion was gasoline, NOT a meth lab.
Police are looking for the driver and passenger of the van, who quickly fled the scene.
Two people that were struck in another vehicle have been taken to hospital.
Vehicle involved in W53/Oak crash appears to be mobile meth lab. Investigation ongoing. Oak still closed.
— Vancouver Police (@VancouverPD) October 7, 2013
Statement by Vancouver Police (Oct. 7):
Police and Vancouver Fire (VFRS) remain on scene at Oak near 53rd for a collision involving a white panel van that crashed into a concrete wall.
The van caught on fire and two men fled the scene. Another vehicle was struck and the two occupants of that car have been taken to hospital with unknown injuries.
Police are continuing to attempt to locate the two men who fled with the help of a police dog.
Initially it appeared and was believed that equipment or chemicals for a meth lab were in the van, but unfortunately police have not been able to confirm that at this time.
As a precaution, the residents in the immediate area have been evacuated and the VFRS Hazmat is on scene.
There have been no arrests and the investigation is ongoing. The area will be closed to traffic for some time as investigators determine the cause of the collision and the fire.
Statement by Vancouver Police (Oct. 8):
Police continue to investigate the collision on Oak Street and have identified two persons of interest in the case.
At about 3:15 p.m. during the start of yesterday’s afternoon rush hour, a white panel van reported to be on fire rear ended an SUV as they travelled south on Oak Street. The van mounted the curb and crashed into a cement retaining wall. Two men from the van fled the scene.
Police arrived and conducted an area search for the two men, but were not able to locate them.
As fire crews attempted to put out the flames, several explosions occurred and the van continued to burn.
The fire and explosions appear to be the result of the van illegally containing large containers and quantities of gasoline.
Two men aged 19 and 25 and both residents of Coquitlam, eventually walked into Eagle Ridge Hospital with serious burns to their upper body, arms, hands, head and face. They remain in hospital in serious condition.
The Vancouver Police are continuing to investigate the collision and determine who the owner of the van is. No charges have been laid.
Image: Jessica Wilson via @MarnieWilson
Feature image & Video: @JoelmPoulin