LIMA Ė Twelve people were hurt and five vehicles destroyed Wednesday when a van carrying gas-filled cylinders exploded on a residential street in the Peruvian capital.
A fire apparently caused by a fault with the vanís ignition mechanism reached the cylinders, setting off a major explosion followed by a series of smaller blasts.
The resulting shockwave was felt across several blocks of Limaís San Isidro district.
The driver, identified as Luis Echevarria, and several assistants managed to get out of the van before the explosions started.
Five cars parked nearby were consumed by the flames and five others were damaged.
Three people were taken to hospitals, while nine others were treated at the scene for minor injuries, the Health Ministry said in a statement.
Three contingents of volunteer firefighters battled the flames with assistance from police.
Peruís mining and energy regulator announced that it has started an investigation of the incident.