A man who was hurt in an explosion in Indio on Tuesday afternoon has died.
The maintenance manager of the Loza Apartments on King Street lived next door to the apartment where the explosion happened. His apartment is now condemned. But that’s not what he’s thinking about, he can’t believe his neighbor is dead, "I thought he was in bad shape but I didn’t know he passed away, that’s pretty bad, it’s pretty shocking."
The Indio Police Department confirmed his death but have not released his name. He was being airlifted to a burn center where he died.
Loza says right before the blast he had his mom call 911 when he smelled gas, "Next thing you know the police arrived before the fire trucks and they tried to get him out asked me to go shut off the main of the gas so I did that and by the time I got to the back to the front here the corner where you see that gate it just blew, it blew me all the way to the gate back there."
That Indio Police officer was also hurt in the blast, he’s now out of the hospital.
Loza says the leak was coming from a connection in the wall meant for a stove, he says it’s suspicious. "The hose was turned on I guess so I’m not going to say he tried to commit suicide I mean I don’t know but it was just a strong smell of gas and that was it was."
The last words he told him now haunt him, "He came out screaming and yelling saying, ‘Please forgive me, please forgive me.’"
Investigators are still trying to figure out what happened, meanwhile Loza says that Indio Police officer saved many lives that day. Had he not asked him to shut off the main gas line, he says it would have been catastrophic.