2 critically burned in marijuana process explosion at motel

Two people were critically burned Wednesday in an explosion in an Ocean Beach area motel room that was being used to extract hashish oil from marijuana, San Diego officials said.

The 20-year-old woman and 21-year-old man were using butane as an extraction source in the process, when the man lit a cigarette, causing the explosion, officials said.

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Windows were blown out of several rooms in the three-story motel. Walls collapsed. A man staying in an adjacent room was injured by flying debris.

“It looked like a war zone up there,” said Maurice Luque, spokesman for the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department.

Flames shot up the walls and moved across the ceiling. It took 45 firefighters half an hour to get the fire under control.

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San Diego police, firefighters and officers from the Narcotics Task Force responded to the 11:15 a.m. explosion as residents were evacuated. Witnesses said the man was on fire from head to toe.

Burns suffered by the two are “potentially life-threatening,” Luque said.