Hazardous Materials Accident Report

Fire and Explosion of
Highway Cargo Tanks, Stock Island
Key West, Florida
June 29, 1998

NTSB Number: HZM-99/01
NTIS Number: PB99-917005

Abstract: About 5:14 a.m., eastern daylight time, on June 29, 1998, at Stock Island, Key West, Florida, a Dion Oil Company (Dion) driver was on top of a straight-truck cargo
tank checking the contents of its compartments and preparing to transfer cargo from a semitrailer cargo tank when explosive vapors ignited within the straight-truck cargo tank. The ignition caused an explosion that threw the driver from the top of the truck. The fire and a series of at least three explosions injured the driver and destroyed the straight truck, a tractor, the front of the semitrailer, and a second nearby straight-truck cargo tank. Damage was estimated at more than $185,000. As a result of its investigation of the accident, the National Transportation Safety Board identified three major safety issues:

The Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the accident was Dionís lack of adequate procedures and driver training, resulting in the driverís pouring a mixture of gasoline and diesel fuel from a plastic bucket into a cargo-tank compartment that contained a mixture of explosive vapors.

As a result of its investigation of this accident, the Safety Board makes recommendations to the Federal Highway Administration, Dion, the Florida State Fire Marshal, the Florida Department of Transportation, the Florida Department of Agriculture, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, the National Fire Prevention Association, the National Association of State Fire Marshals, and the International Association of Fire Chiefs.