12-year-old suffers severe injuries during Rochester explosion: 'It was terrifying'

A young boy is still recovering in the hospital after the downtown Rochester explosion that injured seven people – including him. 

Investigators believe a propane tank was launched at 12-year-old Matthew Vincler during the blast, knocking him out and shredding his arm and hand. 

"The projectile that hit him in the chest caused contusion of his heart, lungs and liver," said Matthew's mother, Rachel Vincler.

Five of the seven people who were injured in the explosion were hospitalized.

It started like any other suburban Satuday night. Matthew and his friends road their bikes to Dairy Queen in downtown Rochester with one of their dads. They, like dozens of others, stopped to look at decorative torches outside 423 Main Bar Grill that caught on fire.

Employees there tried to put the fire out, but could not in time. The propane tank that was fueling the torches blew up.

Matthew was in the direct line of fire, but he does not remember anything else that happened after being struck, his mom said.

"It was terrifying for me to realize 'OK it's getting dusk, where are the boys?' So I start calling, I start texting. I do find my iPhone – nothing," Rachel said.

A paramedic picked up her call on Matthew’s phone and told her to get to Corewell Health in Royal Oak.

"The scariest moment was that moment you're not sure he's gonna be there," said the 12-year-old's father, Joe Vincler.

Matthew is still recovering from internal injuries, severe lacerations on his arm and tendon damage, according to his parents. He also has many cuts that still need to heal.

"He is known to crack jokes," Rachel said. "He's still making us all laugh, so I find that very reassuring that he is still Matthew."

Surgery on Matthew's hand is scheduled for Thursday. 

He was at "the wrong place at the wrong time," Rachel said. "It's all we can think about, but also incredibly lucky that it didn't hit him higher."

The owner of 423 Main Bar and Grill did not want to go on camera, but he told FOX 2 he feels terrible about what happened, and they will not be using torches anymore.

"We are trying to piece things together from people who are around the scene, from videos that are posted, but we still do have a lot of questions," Rachel said.


Downtown Rochester explosion that injured 7 traced to on-fire propane tank

Staff thought they had put out the fire that had started near the business. Then, to everyone's horror, it ignited.