An Automotive Mechanic Dies from Thermal Burns when the Gasoline He was Pouring into a Vehicle Ignited
California Case Report: 11CA006
An automotive mechanic died when gasoline he was pouring into a vehicle ignited and burned him. The victim had just replaced a gas tank on the vehicle. He was using a bucket to pour gasoline into the new fuel tank that did not have the filler hose installed. The fuel spilled onto a wire cage-covered incandescent drop light under the vehicle, which ignited the fuel causing the fire. The victim ran from the vehicle with the bucket of fuel, leaving a trail of spilled gasoline which ignited. The ignited trail of fuel caused the bucket of fuel to also ignite, burning the victim. Contributing factors identified in this investigation were the positioning of the drop light, the type of drop light used, the use of a bucket to store and pour gasoline, and the filling of an incompletely assembled fuel system.