Truck carrying Takata air bag materials explodes in Texas, killing one

Mon Aug 29, 2016 5:00pm EDT
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(Reuters) - A truck transporting Takata Corp (7312.T: Quote) air bag propellant material at the center of a global recall crashed and exploded in Texas last week, killing one woman and injuring four other people, the auto parts supplier said on Monday.

Takata said the truck, operated by a subcontractor, was traveling from a Takata plant in Moses Lake, Washington, to a Takata warehouse in Eagle Pass, Texas, early on Aug. 22 when an accident occurred.

The driver of the tractor-trailer "failed to negotiate" a curve on a highway and crashed near a house, according to a preliminary statement from the Texas Department of Public Safety.

"The trailer (carrying air bag detonators and blasting agent) exploded and engulfed in flames, causing fire to the home and a passing vehicle."

The DPS said 67-year-old Lucila Robles was killed. Local media reports said she was inside the house near where the explosion took place. The agency said the house caught fire after the accident.

The DPS was investigating the incident, the statement said.

A Takata spokesman in the United States said the company had reported the incident to U.S. safety regulators and was cooperating with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The spokesman said on Monday the propellant in the truck contained ammonium nitrate, a volatile chemical compound. Takata air bags containing ammonium nitrate have in the past exploded and been linked to the deaths of at least 14 people, triggering the biggest recall in the global auto industry.

The truck also carried air bag inflators of a different type that did not contain ammonium nitrate, the spokesman said.   Continued...

The logo of Takata Corp is seen on its display through a vehicle at a showroom for vehicles in Tokyo, Japan, May 11, 2016. REUTERS/Toru Hanai/File Photo