National Transportation Safety Board. 1999. Fire and Explosion of Highway Cargo Tanks, Stock Island, Key West, Florida, June 29, 1998. Hazardous Materials Accident Report NTSB/HZM-99/01. Washington, DC.
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 adequacy of Dion’s product-transfer procedures and training.
The adequacy of the Federal Highway Administration’s oversight of motor carriers’ procedures and training for loading and unloading hazardous materials.
The adequacy of Florida’s oversight of the fire safety of storage tanks.
The Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the accident was Dion’s lack of adequate procedures and driver training, resulting in the driver’s 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