Firefighters say a plumber whose car exploded in Vancouver’s West End Wednesday morning should buy a lottery ticket because he was left without a scratch after the spectacular blast.

The force of the explosion, in the 800-block of Nicola Street near Robson Street, shattered dozens of windows in nearby buildings -- up to 12 storeys above.

It sent parts of the Toyota Matrix flying down the street, with a windshield tossed half a block away and the car's hood suspended in a tree. The late-model vehicle caught fire shortly before 7 a.m.

Vancouver Fire Department officials told CTV News the explosion was triggered by a leaking acetylene gas tank that was being stored in the back of the vehicle.

It was sparked when the vehicle’s owner, Michael Hachey, clicked his keyless entry from across the street to open the front doors.

Acetylene is commonly used to weld copper pipes together.

Two elderly people driving by at the time were injured when glass hit their faces.

Several blocks around the scene have been closed to traffic, and will remain so for several hours as glass and debris is removed.

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