Etowah County, Ala., is looking at its aging police fleet after a patrol car exploded. No one was injured in the explosion, and foul play is not suspected, but after reviewing security footage, the Etowah County Sheriff noticed a liquid pooling — possibly fuel — under the vehicle before the explosion, reported ABC 3340.
At the time of the incident, the deputy assigned to the vehicle was inside the Deputy Patrol Room for roll call. He left his 2009 Crown Victoria running, which is customary for the agency as the computers and equipment generally take about 20 minutes to reboot if the car is turned off, reported the Gadsden Times.
The cause of the explosion is not clear, but Sheriff Jonathan Horton noted that a variety of problems could have arisen as a result of his agency’s aging fleet, which has become a safety concern. The vehicle that exploded had 232,578 miles on it.
Horton told WAFF 48 that 16 sheriff’s cars are eight or 10 years old and due for replacement. The county budgets for two or three new vehicles per year, but maintenance costs for older cars is $50,000 per year.
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