They were pouring gas directly into the carburetor.
From a bucket.
As they drove.
I'm almost sure these people must be kin to me, somehow.
The woman said she and her two friends had bought gas at a Factoria gas station, but were having trouble keeping the van running. She said they didn't have a gas can, so they filled an open bucket with two gallons of gas and put it in the van.
The engine cowling -- a piece of metal that covered the engine and which was located between the two front seats of the van -- had been removed, the woman said. The passengers used a water bottle to transfer gas from the bucket directly into the carburetor in order to keep the engine running.
(Nod to the Blonde, who assures nobody in MO acts like this. Perhaps because they don't actually have cars...)
UPDATE: KPC friend Andy Rutten emails a report I had missed:
"It's very rare that a car explodes, there's got to be a reason," said Bellevue police spokeswoman Officer Carla Iafrate.
Now THAT is police work, right there.