Department of Labor
Mine Safety and Health Administration
Fuel Truck Fire
A fuel truck recently caught fire at a District 8 surface mine.
While fueling a DML 60 Ingersoll-Rand overburden drill, the drill
operator observed flames coming from the rear of the fuel truck.
Due to the flames, the operator was unable to reach the fire
extinguisher mounted on the rear of the fuel truck. He then
retrieved a fire extinguisher from the drill, but he was unable
to extinguish the fire. After notifying the pit foreman of the
fire, the drill operator moved the drill to a safe location. The
foreman summoned two local fire departments. Then he and other
miners tried to extinguish the fire with portable dry-chemical
fire extinguishers, but they were unable to bring the fire under
control. After approximately twenty minutes from the discovery of
the fire, the fire companies arrived and applied water and foam.
This was not effective in controlling the fire. The pit foreman
evacuated the area and the fire was allowed to self-extinguish.
After approximately fifty minutes from its initial discovery, the
fire ceased to burn. No injuries were sustained in the incident,
but the fuel truck suffered extensive damage. Examination of the
fuel truck revealed the tank had ruptured at a seam at the front
of the tank. The high pressure built up during the fire may have
caused this rupture.
- Fuel trucks should be provided with at least two readily
accessible large fire extinguishers mounted on opposite
- Extensive fire fighting efforts should not be continued when
the fire area includes a fuel tank. An explosion may occur due to
expansive vapors in the tank. The area should be vacated and the
fire allowed to self-extinguish.
- Fuel trucks should be equipped with automatic fire
This information was provided by concerned
miners in an effort to eliminate accidents. Accident or "close
call" information within District 8 may be shared by contacting
the MSHA office at (812) 882-7617.