Titan Tire Cited for Safety Violations in Fiery Death of Trucker

Titan Tire Corp. of Iowa was fined $150,000 for violations that occurred before and during a fiery explosion that killed a truck driver last November.

The Iowa Occupational Safety and Health Bureau (IOSH) has fined Titan Tire Corp. of Iowa $150,000 for violations that occurred before and during a fiery explosion that killed a truck driver last November.

Preceding an explosion, nearly 2,000 gallons of highly flammable liquid heptane off-loaded from a truck driven by Douglas Oswald, 25, spilled onto the ground at the Titan plant for more than an hour.

According to the citation, the company failed to construct an adequate spill containment system in the area where the chemical was being off-loaded, and the existing system "diverted spilled heptane away from the containment system to a public street."

Fire officials determined that a spark from a passing car then ignited the explosion that fatally burned Oswald.

Titan was also cited for failing to develop or execute an emergency response plan in the case of such emergencies.

Titan officials have not yet commented on the situation and may appeal the decision.

Titan is a global builder and distributor of agricultural, off-road and construction tires, wheels and related equipment.

The company employs about 3,500 workers in the United States and 1,500 abroad.

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