One occupant hospitalized & one jailed after "rolling meth lab" explodes on I-10

Published: Apr. 30, 2008 at 4:03 PM CDT|Updated: May. 5, 2008 at 3:14 PM CDT
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Photo by Charles Holmes/WAFB-TV
Photo by Charles Holmes/WAFB-TV
Photo by Nathan Dewberry/WAFB-TV
Photo by Nathan Dewberry/WAFB-TV
Photo courtesy DOTD
Photo courtesy DOTD

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - It may go down as one of the biggest messes ever on Interstate 10 in Baton Rouge.

What police say had all the components of a "rolling meth lab" exploded inside a car travelling down I-10.

As if that wasn't bad enough, there's also the fact that it happened in the middle of rush hour.

The two men who allegedly caused the whole thing were left with burns and one is now in the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison.

Police say 20-year-old David Harkey and 27-year-old Jonathan Bato were on I-10 near the Highland Road exit when their Toyota Camry exploded.

Officials were forced to shut down I-10 tying up traffic for hours.

Investigators have linked the explosion to a five-gallon propane tank filled with anhydrous ammonia.

They say the tank may have sprung a leak, causing the explosion.

Anhydrous ammonia is a chemical used in making meth.

When troopers arrived on the scene, they reportedly spotted Harkey and Bato walking out of the woods with burns on their bodies.

Harkey is still at a local hospital being treated for those burns.

Bano has been arrested and taken to Parish Prison.

Two others were injured in the accident.

A state trooper and a motorist were both treated for inhaling the ammonia.

The trooper was treated and released.

There's been no word on the condition of the motorist.