Safety Remains A Top Priority For Local Mobile Vendors After Food Truck Explosion In Philadelphia

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Five people remain in critical condition after a spectacular explosion on the streets of Philadelphia, as a food truck erupted into flames.

Columbus is home to its own growing food truck scene and in light of yesterday's tragedy in Philadelphia, 10TV looked into the safety of the mobile eateries.

Tim Hogan is the culinary mind behind Mojo Tago.  "I've been a chef for about 20 years, and it's a nice change of pace to get out of the kitchen and get on the streets. It’s different. It’s a lot of fun,” he says.

Along with the quality of his food, health and safety are top concerns.  "It's basically a kitchen on a smaller scale inside a truck. So we have to follow all the same regulations that a brick and mortar establishment would have to follow."

He walked 10TV through the safety equipment on his truck.

"This is a manual release for the Ansul system. If there were to be a fire on the truck, we would just pull this handle.  This is similar to any system you would see in any restaurant in Columbus. It's all mandated by the state of Ohio."

And now, with legislation passed in April by the City of Columbus to be licensed, food trucks will have to undergo inspections not only by Columbus Public Health, but the Division of Fire.

Along with annual inspections, fire officials say they inspect trucks prior to any festivals like Comfest or Red White and BOOM!

Hogan says Mojo Tago also pays a private company to do safety inspections, and its propane supplier also does spot checks.  "They do a quick check on our line system every time they fill the tank just to make sure there's no small leaks, no puncture wounds from underneath,” Hogan explains.

Investigators believe Tuesday's explosion in Philadelphia was caused by a leak in a propane tank.

"I just watched the video,” said Hogan. “My co-worker brought it up on his phone, and it was one of the most frightening things I've ever seen."

But he believes food trucks are no less safe than brick and mortar restaurants, and with the precautions he takes.  "The risk of that happening is very, very remote."