Truck Was Headed to Takata Factory. Then, an Explosion

Rescuers searched for victim for 2 days, found teeth and bones in debris
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 30, 2016 8:21 AM CDT
This photo shows what's left of a truck that exploded while carrying Takata inflators and a volatile chemical in Quemado.   (Ruben Carrillo Mazuka/The Eagle Pass News Gram via AP)
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(Newser) – More trouble for Takata: A truck carrying Takata airbag parts and explosives crashed in Texas last week, exploding and killing a woman and injuring four others. Authorities say the truck left a highway in Quemado before dawn on Aug. 22, caught fire outside Lucila Robles' home, then violently exploded after the two drivers were able to escape. Both drivers were injured, along with a couple in a nearby car. The force of the explosion was such that officers searched for the 69-year-old Robles for two days before finding her bones and teeth in the rubble of her destroyed house, a Maverick County sheriff tells the New York Times. Ten other homes were damaged, while debris was found a mile away, per Conexion Del Rio.

Takata says the truck contained ammonium nitrate and inflaters—which, combined, allow an airbag to expand. The products were believed to be headed to Takata's distribution center in Eagle Pass, Texas. A Takata rep tells Jalopnik that "the accident caused a fire, which led to an explosion," noting the company "has strict safety procedures relating to the transportation of its products that meet or exceed all regulatory requirements." The Department of Transportation says it is investigating "the safety compliance of the motor carrier, the handling of the cargo by the shipper, its packaging, how the truck was placarded, as well as the truck's routing." (Takata is accused of manipulating testing data.)

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