7646 Watson Rd. St. Louis, Missouri 63119-5002
Call DeVoto Law Firm Today

Tanker Truck Explosions

St. Louis Tanker Truck Explosion Law Firm

Your advocate in diesel engines and gasoline tanker explosions

Tanker Truck Explosion For more than 40 years, the DeVoto Law Firm has successfully investigated and litigated gas tanker explosion claims and has recovered millions of dollars for injured victims. If you or a loved one is a victim of such an occurrence, it’s imperative that you hire an experienced gasoline tanker explosion lawyer IMMEDIATELY so that crucial evidence is secured. An experienced lawyer with a team of forensic engineers and mechanics knows just what to look for among the remnants of the truck, tanker and engine to prove causation, a key element to your case for recovery.

Anatomy of a tanker truck explosion in St. Louis

Trucks that deliver fuel present different negligence issues than do cases of St. Louis natural gas explosion. Tractors used to haul fuel tankers are sometimes equipped with a pump to offload the fuel. The pump is powered by the tractor’s diesel engine through the use of a power take-off (PTO), which shifts engine power from the drive shaft to the pump. The PTO has its own throttle and the driver can set the RPMs of the engine for maximum efficiency of the pump.

A diesel engine operates by compressing air to create heat to ignite the fuel in its combustion chamber. Therefore, it must breathe in air to operate. Under ordinary circumstances the more throttle a driver gives the engine, the more diesel fuel is pumped into the combustion chamber. But if gasoline vapors escape from the tank field, a leak, or an overfill of a tank, the diesel engine’s breather will ingest gasoline vapor with the normal air. The more vapor the engine ingests, the faster it runs and the more vapor it ingests. If there’s sufficient vapor in the air, the engine will overspeed.

At this point the engine’s fuel pump will shut itself off or cease to function. Though the only source of fuel is the vapor, in less than a minute, the engine will be running so fast it will actually scream. The driver will assume something is wrong with the PTO and try to shut off the pump or turn off the engine. However, since the engine is no longer running on diesel fuel, those efforts will be futile.

Ultimately, an overspeed causes “valve float,” where both the intake and exhaust valves remain open simultaneously. Hot exhaust vapors cross over to the intake manifold where they contact the vapor-laden air, and an explosion ensues. The poor driver may be severely burned, often to the point of death. The tractor and tanker will go up in flames and, in the worst case, the tank field and surrounding business are engulfed in the conflagration.

Contact a leading St. Louis tanker truck explosion attorney today

Failure to hire an experienced attorney IMMEDIATELY can result in the loss, destruction or alteration of key evidence. Call the DeVoto Law Firm at 314-961-0330 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to get our team to the scene as soon as possible.

St. Louis Product Liability Attorney

Free Information Package

The Injured Person's Best Guide to Accident Cases in Missouri. Click to view the book or call our office to order your copy.

The Buying Car Insurance in Missouri. Click to view the book or call our office to order your copy.


Tom has represented me on a couple of matters.. Two worker's compensation cases and the accidents that caused my work injuries. He handled my cases quickly and efficiently and although they were not big cases he handled them like they were important cases. If any of my friends or co-workers get injured, I always give them Tom's name.
- O.B.

I was in an industrial accident, stairway collapse, and Tom handled my case against the owner of the building. When the topic of settlement came up before the start of the trial the defense lawyer mentioned a small amount, Later, Tom and I were in the elevator with the defense lawyer and Tom looked at him and said, you're going down. Watching Tom try my case and object and control the evidence was great. The jury gave Tom every single penny that he asked for. Tom and I stay in touch. I call him Big Tom.
Alan C.

"For nearly two decades, Thomas C. DeVoto has made substantial contributions to the continuing legal education of Missouri’s attorneys by sharing his experience and knowledge at various Missouri Bar CLE programs."
Read More