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Man and 2 children airlifted to hospitals after suspected marijuana lab explodes in Ukiah

A man and his two children were badly burned last week after a suspected marijuana processing lab exploded inside a trailer at a Ukiah RV park, authorities said.

The children, a 12-year-old boy and an 8-year-old girl, and their father were inside the trailer when the explosion happened just before 7 p.m. Thursday at the park at 700 East Gobbi Street, the Ukiah Police Department said.

Bystanders helped them get out after the blast, police said.

All three had “significant burns over much of their (bodies),” police said in a news release. They were taken to Adventist Health Ukiah Valley hospital and later airlifted to treatment centers out of the area. Police could not describe their conditions on Wednesday.

Officers found evidence of a lab inside the trailer used to make a marijuana concentrate commonly known as butane honey oil, according to the news release.

Butane, which is used to extract THC from marijuana in honey oil operations, is “extremely explosive,” said Lt. Cedric Crook.

“When they’re doing it in a closed environment like that anything can ignite the butane,” he said. “It’s an inherently dangerous situation, even in an open environment.”

Lt. Andy Phillips said the travel trailer was parked in a section of the RV park designated for temporary occupancy, but “it looked like they had been there a while.”

The trailer was badly damaged in the blast.

“The windows were blown out. The walls were bulged. I would suspect (the trailer) was probably a loss,” he said.

Police declined to release the man’s identity. He remained hospitalized on Wednesday.

Phillips said Ukiah police are considering charging him with felony child endangerment and the Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force is considering charges related to the suspected illegal lab.

You can reach Staff Writer Matt Pera at matthew.pera@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @Matt__Pera.

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