An exploding tire injured an unidentified man at the Giant gas station on the morning of Thursday, July 31, with the exact cause of the explosion unknown.
The incident occurred at around 10 a.m. July 31, said Officer Floyd Capistrant with the Pagosa Springs Police Department.
Capistrant said it appeared the driver of a trash truck belonging to WCA Waste Corporation was working on something near the right front tire when it exploded, knocking him unconscious.
A bystander from Arizona pulled the driver away from the truck, and an employee of the gas station put fire retardant on the tire prior to the arrival of emergency personnel, Capistrant reported.
The male was then taken to Pagosa Springs Medical Center, where he was stabilized and flown to San Juan Regional Medical Center in Farmington, N.M., Capistrant said.
Capistrant also noted that there were several single strands of metal wiring wrapped around the axle near the tire that exploded, though David Montoya, firefighter and communications specialist with the Pagosa Fire Protection District, said it is unknown what actually caused the tire to explode.
Montoya noted that temperature readings taken of the front wheel bearing using thermal imaging ranged from 345 to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
The PFPD worked to cool the hot metal at the scene, Montoya said.
Neither agency released the name of the injured individual, and no condition was known as of press time Wednesday.