An educator from the Franklin Institute was seriously injured Friday morning after a tank carrying hydrogen in his car exploded.

The incident occurred at the intersection of Wrangleboro Road and the Atlantic City Expressway.

Hamilton Township police said that John Deininger, 40, of Swarthmore, Pa., was driving a car when the hydrogen tank began to leak in the back of the car. Deininger stopped the car and got out to check on the tank, which was in the rear of the vehicle. When Deininger opened the rear hatch, the tank exploded.

Passing motorists used fire extinguishers to put out the fire, police said.

Deininger suffered serious injuries and was taken to the AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center, City Campus, for treatment.

A supervisor at the Burn Center of Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia confirmed Friday evening that Deininger had been transferred there and was in stable condition. No additional information could be released.

The vehicle was destroyed by the explosion.

Deininger had just given a presentation at the Northfield Community School before the accident.

Police said the school was evacuated as a precaution for about 30 minutes after school officials learned of the explosion because Deininger had left some chemicals at the school, because he was planning to return there later in the day.

There were no injuries at the school and that the building was eventually deemed safe by the officials from the fire department, police department and the Atlantic County HAZMAT squad.

Contact Sarah Watson:


Contact Robert Spahr: