Bronx, NY Gasoline Explosion, June 1967


New York (AP) -- A teenager was arrested today in the blast Tuesday night in which 19 persons were burned, seven critically, when a match was tossed at gasoline dripping from a taxicab in the Bronx.
The seven critical were all teenagers and children.
Charged with arson in the resulting taxicab garage fire was MANUEL SOLTERO, 18.
A fire department spokesman said SOLTERO'S cousin, ANN, and her four-year-old son, PAUL, were injured in the fire.
Detectives quoted SOLTERO as saying, "I didn't think it would do that much damage. I'm terribly sorry."
Police said the young man came here from Puerto Rico only a few months ago.
The victims of the fire and explosion were playing outside a taxi cab garage in the Bronx when driver JAMES PAUL said he saw the youth "deliberately throw a match" into gas spilling from the ruptured tank of a cab pulling into the garage.
Then, "like a flash," he said, the auto exploded.
"We were about 40 feet from the garage when I saw this wall of flame coming out of it and enveloping people," said Fire Lt. Salvatore Patrissi, whose station is located on the next block. "Kids on fire were running in every direction."
Firemen and police chased the children as they ran aimlessly and with their hair aflame in throw coats, blankets or whatever they could fine to smother the flames on them.

Syracuse Herald Journal New York 1967-06-14