Lawsuit filed in deadly explosion in Quemado involving Takata airbags
HOUSTON, Texas -- A lawsuit has been filed in connection with the explosion at a home in Quemado that left one woman dead and at least four other people injured.
Investigators say an 18-wheeler hauling air bags and ammonium nitrate crashed, caught fire and exploded on August 22nd in the small town, leveling the home of Lucila Robles. Robles was killed in the accident.
A Houston attorney filed the lawsuit against TK Holdings, Inc. and Takata de Mexico, S.A. de C.V. on behalf of one of the surviving victims, Rene De Los Santos Olveda. The suit states the "chemical compound used Defendants (TK Holdings, Inc. and Takata de Mexico, S.A. de C.V.) in their air bag propellant and inflators has a history of causing death and destruction."
Olveda's attorney, Mo Aziz of Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Sorrels, Agosto & Friend, states Olveda "sustained a blast induced concussion and has suffered permanent hearing loss" due to his proximity to the blast.
The lawsuit is asking for a temporary restraining order against TK Holdings, Inc. and Takata de Mexico, S.A. de C.V. In a news release issued Thursday, Olveda's attorney stated the following:
“A temporary restraining order is necessary at this time to gain access to the blast site and conduct crater analysis. Takata has been at the blast site since early last week and based on news reports has been confiscating evidence.”
Takata uses ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion that fills air bags in a crash. But the chemical can deteriorate when exposed to prolonged heat and humidity and burn too fast. That can blow apart a metal canister and hurl shrapnel into drivers and passengers. At least 11 people, and probably 14, have died worldwide due to Takata inflator explosions.
The deaths and more than 100 injuries sparked a massive global recall of more than 100 million inflators, including 69 million in the U.S. in what has become the largest automotive recall in U.S. history.
Some of the information for this story were obtained from Associated Press.