Truck Carrying Takata Air Bag Propellants Explodes, Kills One

The company is at the center of the largest auto recall in history due to its air bags

Truck Carrying Takata Air Bag Propellants Explodes, Kills One
Image: Pixabay
August 29, 2016

A truck carrying Takata air bag inflators and propellants to a warehouse in Eagle Pass, Texas, exploded on August 22, killing one person and injuring four others.

The truck was being driven by a subcontractor and was involved in an accident. The accident started a fire, which caused the truck to explode and incinerate a nearby home. The explosion was so powerful that it also damaged 10 homes close to the site of the accident, breaking windows and blowing doors off hinges. Rubble and truck parts were found nearly one mile away from the site.

The driver of the truck, a 20-year-old man, was able to escape from the vehicle before the explosion, together with one passenger. A 69-year-old woman was killed in the blast, which occurred in front of her house. She was identified using dental records.

A Takata spokesman stated that the inflators and propellants carried by the truck had contained ammonium nitrate, a volatile chemical compound. Exploding Takata air bags prompted the largest auto recall in history after they were linked to the deaths of 14 people, with more than 100 million vehicles around the world involved in the recall.

Exposing the defective inflators to hot conditions for long periods of time has been found to result in the explosion of the air bags with such excessive force that shrapnel is sent flying into the passenger compartment of the vehicle.