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Blast Overpressure After Tire Explosion: A Fatal Case

Pomara, Cristoforo MD, PhD*; D’Errico, Stefano MD, PhD*; Riezzo, Irene MD, PhD*; Perilli, Gabriela MD*; Volpe, Umberto EngD; Fineschi, Vittorio MD, PhD*

The American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology: December 2013 - Volume 34 - Issue 4 - p 306–310
doi: 10.1097/PAF.0000000000000047
Case Reports

Fatal blast injuries are generally reported in literature as a consequence of the detonation of explosives in war settings. The pattern of lesion depends on the position of the victim in relation to the explosion, on whether the blast tracks through air or water, and whether it happens in the open air or within an enclosed space and the distance from the explosion. Tire explosion–related injuries are rarely reported in literature. This study presents a fatal case of blast overpressure due to the accidental explosion of a truck tire occurring in a tire repair shop. A multidisciplinary approach to the fatality involving forensic pathologists and engineers revealed that the accidental explosion, which caused a series of primary and tertiary blast wave injuries, was due to tire deterioration.

From the *Department of Forensic Pathology, University of Foggia, Ospedale Colonnello D’Avanzo, Foggia, Italy; and †Engineering Office, General Direction Civil Motorization South Italy and Sicily, Italy.

Manuscript received March 2, 2013; accepted July 2, 2013.

The authors report no conflict of interest.

Reprints: Vittorio Fineschi, MD, PhD, Department of Forensic Pathology, University of Foggia, Ospedale Colonnello D’Avanzo, Viale degli Aviatori 1, 71100 Foggia, Italy. E-mail:

© 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.