Decision regarding a more in-depth investigation will be made in a few weeks
Last month, a truck carrying Takata airbag inflators was involved in a crash which led to a fire and ultimately to an explosion. Four people sustained injuries and had to be transported to the hospital, while a woman died in her house located near where the explosion took place. According to a spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board, Takata’s airbag parts were being shipped properly in the truck at the moment of the massive blast.
NTSB and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration have reached this conclusion after conducting an initial analysis of the shipping documents. In the following weeks, NTSB is going to decide whether there is a need for a more in-depth investigation regarding the unfortunate accident which took place near Quemado, Texas on August 22.
A spokesman for the NTSB has said the independent safety investigation agency is willing to provide assistance if necessary to the Texas Department of Public Safety, which is also analyzing the incident.
U.S. Democrat senators Richard Blumenthal and Edward Markey, both members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, have expressed their desire for a more thorough probe. They went on to specify Takata’s inflators contain ammonium nitrate, which is used as an explosive in mining and construction, so they want to know whether the chemical compound can be safely transported without any risks of an explosion in case of a similar accident.
The explosion was so powerful that pieces of the truck were found about a mile away (1.6 kilometres) and 10 houses were damaged by the blast. It also seriously affected the highway, which had to be closed for more than a day to be fixed.
Takata’s problematic airbags have so far been linked to the death of 14 people and more than 150 injuries, prompting the largest recall ever in the car industry.