Explosion rocks downtown Portland food cart pod, shattering windows

U.S.

No one was hurt in what appears to be a fuel gas explosion

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — An explosion in the early hours of Sunday rocked an entire city block in downtown Portland, destroying a food cart that shattered windows and scattered debris in a wide swath.

Multiple calls about the explosion at the food cart pod near SW 5th Avenue and Harvey Milk Street were reported around 3:40 a.m., Portland Fire & Rescue said. Emergency crews scoured the area for anyone who may have been hurt by the blast but no injuries were reported.

Investigators from the PPB Explosive Disposal Unit swept the area looking for any potential explosive devices but found none. Sunday afternoon PFR said they found no indication at this time this incident was a device and it is being investigated as a fuel gas explosion consistent with something like propane.”

Portland Fire & Rescue spokesperson Katia Minor said it’s “an ongoing investigation. They are just investigating it as a fuel explosion for right now.”

The explosion also damaged several windows of the Multnomah County Mead Building that houses offices for the Department of Community Justice.

“We got a call at about 5 a.m that there had been some sort of explosion form the food carts so we just came down and started cleaning right away,” said Jennifer Tomasko, a facilities specialist with Multnomah County. “And our first floor was fine, but our second, third, and fourth floors broke. So we’ve been cleaning up ever since.”

At least one person was spotted on camera taking advantage of the broken doors on the carts and looting.

Nicholas owns the food cart destroyed by an explosion in downtown Portland, August 28, 2022 (KOIN)
Nicholas owns the food cart next to the one destroyed by an explosion in downtown Portland, August 28, 2022 (KOIN)

Nicholas, who owns the Lord of the Wings cart next to the explosion, said he was “planning on going shopping and prepping food, and I got a phone call from the FBI, and my neighbor, and a ton of missed calls and text messages. I didn’t know what was going on.”

Nicholas said his cart was also damaged by the blast, which will be a major setback for his business.

“I mean, this is my baby. I work it myself 7 days a week. This is my life, this is my income,” he said.

Witnesses said anyone near the food cart pod would have heard or felt the blast. Patrick Nofield was staying at a nearby hotel when the blast happened.

“I heard a significant explosion, or a shatter. I didn’t know what it was,” Nofield told KOIN 6 News. “So I called down to the front desk at The Nines and I said, ‘Was that an earthquake?’” And they said, ‘No we don’t know what it was.'”

EHA Food Cart Explosion 08282022
Scene of an explosion at a food cart pod in downtown Portland on Sunday, Aug. 28, 2022 (KOIN)

Police ask anyone with information about the explosion to contact the Portland Police Bureau at crimetips@portlandoregon.gov.

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