Man Loads Car With Propane Tanks And Drives Into Ex’s Apartment, He Dies In Explosion

A 31-year-old disgruntled ex-boyfriend packed his car full of propane tanks before driving into his ex-girlfriend’s apartment, killing himself in the huge explosion. Carl Philbert drove that explosive vehicle through the front windows of his ex’s first-floor apartment in St. Pierce, Florida.

Philbert showed up at the apartment of his ex-girlfriend on Tuesday morning and he saw something that he didn’t like, said Fort Pierce Police Department spokesperson, Ed Cunningham. He also said at that time, the police believe an argument ensued between Philbert and his ex.

After leaving, the scorned boyfriend returned to the apartment complex several hours later after he had packed four propane tanks into his car. Three tanks were located in the backseat and one was found in the front passenger seat. Cunningham said that Philbert “intended to do damage.”

What Philbert did next was an act that led police to believe he may have been attempting to kill all the people inside that apartment, not just his ex-girlfriend. Cunningham said the following.

“He raced his car into this apartment where five people were, intending to kill them, blow the place up, or create some kind of havoc.”


Philbert gunned the car, crashing through the windows and wall of his ex-girlfriend’s apartment and the car exploded, reports the Daily Mail. Eileen Cuevas, 26, said her mother, who is Philbert’s ex-girlfriend, was in the front room of the apartment when she saw him driving toward the building.


Cuevas said after Philbert came through the wall she grabbed her toddler son, her mother, and her grandmother then ran out the back door as the car and the building caught on fire. She was still shaken after what she witnessed. She could see Philbert on fire in his vehicle. She wanted someone to help him as his body was on fire inside the car, she told reporters on the scene.

When one of the propane tanks would explode, the loud noise and the flare-up of flames made the apartment complex look like a war zone. A neighbor took video footage of the fire and in the video, you can hear one of the tanks exploding, startling the people in the crowd gathering to watch this blazing fire. That video can be viewed at the bottom of this article.


Philbert was pronounced dead at the scene. He perished in the car explosion and fire. Every apartment in the building was damaged by the explosion and fire, leaving more than a dozen people without their homes. Police said that five people were in the apartment when Philbert targeted the location with his car packed with propane tanks.

The people in the apartment included Philbert’s unnamed ex-girlfriend and her daughter, along with her daughter’s 3-year-old son. His ex-girlfriend’s mother was also in that apartment. The fifth person wasn’t identified. The video below shows the clip taken by one of the neighbors as a propane tank explodes. You can hear the fear in the crowd as they wait for the fire department to arrive.

No one was hurt in this car explosion except for Philbert, who lost his life during his attempt to blow up this apartment and possibly his girlfriend and her family, as police suggest. Other apartment dwellers who were home at the time managed to escape unharmed. Most reported leaving by the back door of their apartments.

[Featured Image by Jacquelyn Martin/AP Images]