Jan. 30, 2013 Associated Press
SAN DIEGO — A powerful explosion on Wednesday ripped through a hotel near SeaWorld San Diego from a room where authorities say a couple was extracting hash oil, sending guests fleeing for safety.
A 22-year-old man in the room suffered life-threatening injuries. Also hurt were a woman in the room and a young man staying next door, authorities said. All three were hospitalized.
Julie Jordan of San Diego was sleeping with a friend's baby in a nearby room at the three-story Heritage Inn Sea World Hotel when she felt the building shake violently, then heard a loud explosion. She ran outside and saw a shattered window and a badly injured man sitting at the bottom of some stairs moaning.
"People were screaming and running, and a man was burned from head to toe," said Jordan, 30. "His skin was falling off."
Investigators found several boxes containing canisters of butane inside the room where the blast occurred, police Lt. Joseph Ramos said.
The butane apparently was ignited by a cigarette, Fire-Rescue Department spokesman Maurice Luque said. The second-floor room looked like a "war zone," he said.
"It was a very intense and devastating explosion," Luque said.