Officials: Safety violations led to fatal mechanic shop fire

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Tennessee officials believe a trucking company engaged in serious safety violations prior to an explosion that killed a maintenance shop employee last year in Knox County.

The Knoxville News Sentinel ( reports 43-year-old mechanic Joseph Mack died from severe burns hours after an explosion inside an R & L Carriers maintenance shop in October 2016.

Months later, fire investigators remain unsure what caused a leaking flammable liquid to explode, but investigators with the Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health Administration said R & L Carriers committed five serious safety violations prior to the fire.

Officials say the company will pay $16,200 following an agreement that reduced the citations to three.

R & L Carriers is a global transportation firm based in Wilmington, Ohio. The company didn’t return requests for comment.


Information from: Knoxville News Sentinel,