Takata says the truck was involved in an accident which caused the fire, leading to an explosion.
The truck being driven by 20-year-old Mario Alberto Rodriguez was in transit on Monday morning from Del Rio to the Takata plant in Eagle Pass, Texas when it was involved in the accident. The driver and passenger managed to get out of the truck prior to the explosion, escaping without any life-threatening injuries. The explosion also affected a Toyota SUV, injuring the driver and passenger, with all four people initially being transported to a hospital in Eagle Pass and then moved via airplane to the San Antonio hospital.
Unfortunately, 69-year-old Lucila Robles died in her home located near where the truck exploded. Initially, she was reported as missing, but on Wednesday morning the Maverick County officials confirmed her death after her dental pieces were found at the scene of the accident and then analyzed by the Medical Examiner in Laredo, Texas.
The cause of the massive explosion is not known at this moment, but according to the Texas Department of Safety, it did not come as a consequence of a collision, as initially believed. We do know the blast was very powerful, with pieces of the truck allegedly discovered at up to a mile away from the explosion. No less than ten surrounding houses were damaged, and the highway had to be closed for about 30 hours in order to be repaired.
The press release section contains an official response from Takata following a request made by Jalopnik.
A truck carrying airbag inflators and propellant that was being operated by a subcontractor to Takata was involved in an accident. According to preliminary reports, the accident caused a fire, which led to an explosion. Takata immediately deployed personnel to the site and has been working closely with the subcontractor and the appropriate authorities to investigate this incident. Takata has strict safety procedures relating to the transportation of its products that meet or exceed all regulatory requirements. Our thoughts are with the family of the woman who died as a result of this accident, and with the four people injured, who were immediately transported to San Antonio for medical treatment.”