Tanker Truck Explosions and Fires


Hi. I’m Indiana personal injury attorney David Holub.

Several years ago, we represented a fellow who was injured when an oil tanker exploded while the tanker was being filled at a lubricant depot.

Think of this depot as a huge filling station for the tanker trucks that bring gasoline and diesel fuel to local gas stations.

While one of the tankers was being filled, vapors from the product being pumped into a tanker ignited and exploded injuring many workers, including our client. 

Our client was in a truck, minding his own business, next in line to be filled by personnel at the filling depot.  He and the other truckers were entitled to a safe work environment.

But safety was not on the menu that day.

In short, the tank being filled had not been properly washed before motor oil was pumped into it. The tanker had last hauled gasoline. It should have been washed with steam to get rid of vapors. It should have been grounded while it was being filled. A grounding chain, if it had been used, would have discharged static electricity prevented sparking.

Here is a description of the types of negligent conduct that lead to the explosion:

  • Failing to ground a tanker being loaded as required by OSHA
    • Failing to remove flammable vapors before filling the tanker  
    • Failing to deploy vapor sniffing equipment to ensure absence of vapors
    • Failing to flush and clean the tanker after it transported chemicals which could explode

Our client suffered PTSD and extensive hearing loss. 

Work-related incidents like this one happen all the time, and if you don’t know your rights, you may end up with less than what you are entitled to obtain by law.

If you would like to learn more we encourage you to listen to our Personal Injury Primer Podcast where we break down the law into simple terms, provide legal tips, and discuss topics related to personal injury law.

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