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Occupational Safety and Health Administration OSHA

Accident Report Detail

Accident: 977587 - Fire Fighters Killed When Fire Truck Overturns

Accident: 977587 -- Report ID: 0454734 -- Event Date: 01/05/1988
InspectionOpen DateSICEstablishment Name
10553879701/14/19889311Kingsport-City Hall
Employee #1 and two coworkers were riding in an approximately 20 ton fire truck, responding to a fire alarm. The truck descended a long steep grade that ended in a T intersection. It was traveling approximately 40 mph when it reached the bottom of the hill, plunged off an embankment, and overturned. The three workers were trapped inside the crushed cab and Employee #1 died of asphyxia. There were no tire skid marks at the intersection, but there were "yaw" tire marks near the embankment indicating that the truck skidded sideways as it attempted to make the sharp turn. It appears the brake system may have failed due to overheating because the truck had just made between four and six abrupt stops prior to this accident. Subsequent investigation revealed some maladjustment of the brakes, which may also have contributed to the accident.
Keywords: embankment, asphyxiated, brake, inadequate maint, work rules, equipment failure, sharp turn, overheated, fire truck, overturn
Employee # Inspection Age Sex Degree Nature Occupation
1 105538797 Fatality Asphyxia Firefighting occupations

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