It is not yet confirmed why the food truck exploded - Media Credit: Planet Vegan

US Vegan Food Truck Explosion Leaves Owner In Hospital

A Crowdfunder has been set up to raise money for Joe Ellis' medical bills

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2 Minutes Read

Planet Vegan’s popular Fresno, California-based food truck exploded on June 24. The incident has left co-owner Joe Ellis hospitalized with second-degree burns. 

A second victim has been confirmed, but no details are forthcoming, other than he is a minor.

Ellis has remained in critical care since the incident. Reportedly, he has burns across 35 percent of his body, which will require multiple surgeries in the future.

Estimates put Ellis’ medical bills at a total of at least $600,000.

The Fresno Fire Department is currently investigating what caused the unexpected blast. Parked at its usual spot, at a Chevron gas station, the truck seemingly exploded for no reason. One propane tank is known to have exploded though this is not confirmed as the source of the fire.

The food truck community rallies

Mike Oz, Fresno Street Eats president told ABC30 that the fire “definitely sent shock waves though the food truck community.” He added that fellow food truck owners are in constant contact with Ellis, offering support in a variety of guises.

Alongside a GoFundMe campaign to raise funds for Ellis, the food truck contingent has planned a local fundraiser for June 30. Money raised will go towards Ellis’ mounting medical bills and Planet Vegan’s revival.

“We are going to donate money from every truck, every, whatever place you go to, all the vendor fees. All that stuff is going to go directly to Planet Vegan. One hundred percent of what we make would go straight to them,” Oz said.

Around five physical locations and 30 food trucks are slated to be participating.

Thanks to the Fresno community

Ellis’ business partner, Mike McElroy, has taken to the company’s social media channels to thank everybody for their support.

“I’m truly thankful for everyone showing love and support in this tragic time. I’m just speechless about it all but we are happy he is still here with us. Anything helps and we truly appreciate it” he said.

To donate to Ellis’ GoFundMe page, click here

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The Author

Charlotte Pointing

Charlotte writes about sustainable beauty, fashion, and food. She spent more than 4 years editing in leading vegan media, and has a degree in history and a postgraduate in cultural heritage.

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