A Florida woman was killed when the port-a-potty she was using exploded and burst into flames, an unfortunate accident that police say may have been sparked by the woman smoking.
The incident took place near a home that was under construction in the city of St. Augustine, WNYT reported. First responders said they arrived on the scene to find a portable toilet that was on fire. Once the flames were put out, authorities say they found the body of the deceased woman inside.
The report did not indicate why the woman was there, or whether she was the homeowner or working on the home that was reportedly under construction.
The state’s fire marshal was investigating the explosion and said that it is possible the victim was smoking inside the port-a-potty, which ignited fumes from inside the toilet. They did not say if the gases that may have exploded were naturally occurring.
The strange incident captured national attention this week, garnering coverage from national news outlets and being shared across social media, though it was actually not the first time that a person was seriously injured in a portable toilet explosion. As The Inquisitr reported, a Washington woman was left seriously injured when the portable toilet she was using exploded in an incident back in June 2014. The incident took place in Oregon, where Karikaye Finch and her family had traveled for her daughter’s softball tournament.
Finch said that she was sitting on the toilet when she felt a sudden pain in the back of her head, leaving her covered in blood. Paramedics treated Finch and took her to a nearby hospital.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Department investigated the incident and found what they believed to be a makeshift bomb, one made from a plastic bottle filled with a mixture of chemicals.
Authorities said there were two similar incidents in the region that same afternoon, with makeshift bombs being hidden in public places and set to explode.
Police did not identify a suspect, but Finch said afterward that she spotted a teenager acting suspiciously near the port-a-potty.
“He had that look… A mother’s intuition,” she said. “You look for a kid prank, maybe something bad on the ground. You’re not thinking I’m going to get hit on the back of the head with some sort of explosion.”
The woman killed in the port-a-potty explosion in Florida had not yet been identified. Reports did not indicate the woman’s exact cause or manner of death, and police did not say if they suspected foul play.