A WARRNAMBOOL man suffered facial injuries in an explosion on Wednesday night when he lit a cigarette in a car containing a leaking gas bottle.
The 41-year-old man was sleeping in a Mitsubishi sedan parked near the intersection of Port Fairy's Gipps and Victoria streets on the riverfront when the drama unfolded.
Just after 11pm the man lit a cigarette in the car. There was a gas bottle in the vehicle which had been leaking or turned on and lighting the cigarette triggered the explosion.
The man suffered non life-threatening facial injuries, was treated at the scene by ambulance officers and then taken to the Warrnambool Base Hospital.
He was flown to The Alfred Hospital on Thursday morning for further treatment.
Country Fire Authority members attended the scene and put out the fire.
The car was destroyed.
A police spokesman said the man was extremely lucky to have survived.