My van has malfunctioned, not started twice this week. The first time I thought it was a dead batter but it was unjumpable. My husband claims he tightened the hot battery cable and that did the trick. It then started fine for probably 30 off and ons…and then left me stranded at the grocery store. This time, when I went to start it, the engine acted like it wanted to jump out of the car and the car would continue to crank after I took my hand off off the key for about 30 seconds and then quit. It has since been towed home and will not start.
Sounds like the ignition key switch is failing.
looks like you have two problems. First tackle the continuing to crank, which is probably the ignition key switch, as circuitsmith says.
The second problem could be a bad battery or bad connections. The fact that one connection was loose may indicate corrosion under the clamp. The cables should be removed (safely) and the mating surfaces cleaned.
But fix the key problem first, that may be the only problem.