A Tesla Model S caught fire during a fatal crash in Davie, Fla., on Sunday and reignited several times in the tow yard that police sent it to later in the day.
Omar Awan was killed after his car lost control and drove into a row of palm trees on Flamingo Road in Davie as it was traveling at speeds between 75 and 90 mph, according to police.
The Associated Press reported that an emergency responder tried to break a window to extract Awan from the burning car, but was unsuccessful. A self-proclaimed witness to the event told WPLG news that the doors couldn’t be opened and that the driver was trapped by the airbags, but her account has yet to be corroborated by officials.
Fire crews were then called to the tow yard three times overnight as the battery pack reignited, which is a frequent occurrence in the aftermath of electric car fires.
“We have a problem where the car keeps catching fire because the battery pack itself hasn’t drained yet,” Davie Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Robert Diferdinando told the Sun-Sentinel.
Diferdinando said that the department was working with Tesla to address the issue, and borrowing a special extinguisher from another agency designed to handle this type of fire.
Tesla issued a statement to media outlets that said:
“We are deeply saddened by this accident and our thoughts are with everyone affected by this tragedy. We have reached out to the local authorities to offer our cooperation. We understand that speed is being investigated as a factor in this crash, and know that high-speed collisions can result in a fire in any type of car, not just electric vehicles.”
An investigation into the incident is ongoing.