Car bursts into flames when smoking driver uses hand sanitizer

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Alcohol caused a car accident — but not in the way you might expect.

A car burst into flames Thursday after a Maryland motorist unwisely used hand sanitizer while smoking. A harrowing video taken from a news chopper shows the vehicle smoldering in a parking lot as firefighters rush to douse the blaze.

“Using hand sanitizer and smoking a cigarette is a bad combo in unventilated areas like a car,” a Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service official told the local ABC affiliate. The crew responded to the freak inferno, which occurred around 5:30 p.m. at the Federal Plaza Shopping Center in Rockland.

According to official reports, the unnamed driver was smoking a cigarette and then started using the germ-killing elixir, which ignited and set the whole car aflame like an impromptu Molotov cocktail.

That might be due to the fact that hand sanitizers contain a large amount of alcohol  — around 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol, which makes the personal hygiene product highly flammable.

Fortunately, the motorist was immediately transported to the hospital, where he was treated for minor burns and other non-life-threatening injuries. The vehicle, on the other hand, was torched beyond repair.

This isn’t the first time that the skin sterilization serum has sparked an inferno. Last September, a Texas woman suffered severe burns after hand sanitizer on her skin reportedly caught fire and exploded as she was lighting a candle.

Meanwhile, a UK taxi driver accidentally set his head alight à la “Ghost Rider” after trying to retrieve a passenger’s forgotten lighter using his freshly sanitized hands.

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