6-hour jam on highway after tanker turns turtle
Commuters travelling along the Eastern Express Highway had to suffer a nightmarish six-hour traffic jam on a rainy Tuesday morning when a tanker carrying an inflammable chemical turned turtle near Pant Nagar, Ghatkopar. HT reports.mumbai Updated: Aug 18, 2010 01:54 IST
Commuters travelling along the Eastern Express Highway had to suffer a nightmarish six-hour traffic jam on a rainy Tuesday morning when a tanker carrying an inflammable chemical turned turtle near Pant Nagar, Ghatkopar.
Traffic police said the accident, which occurred at 5 am, brought peak-hour traffic to a halt until 11 am. "Traffic had to be diverted to other ancillary routes," said Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Vivek Phansalkar.
The tanker, carrying the highly inflammable xylene hydrochloride, had come from Gujarat and was on its way to Chembur.
Police said at around 5 am, the driver of the tanker, Aidaram Chaudhary (34), lost control of the vehicle and hit the road divider. The impact made the tanker turn turtle.
The police said the tanker was carrying at least 20,000 litres of the chemical stored in four compartments of 5,000 litres each. One of the compartments burst open after the accident causing the chemical to spill on the road.
The Vikhroli traffic police, who learnt about the incident from a commuter, rushed to the spot followed by fire brigade officers. The fire brigade sought the help of experts from Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited to dilute the 300 litres of the chemical spilt on the road. "The chemical is highly inflammable. The experts were called in to neutralise it. They sprayed water on the chemical to dilute it," said an official from the fire brigade.
The tanker was moved after a special pump was used to remove the remaining chemical from its compartments. Fire brigade officials, who were present at the spot, said the spill could have turned dangerous had it not been raining because the rainwater helped wash away most of the chemical.
Suresh Mane (34), a local resident said, "When I heard about the accident, I got scared thinking the dangerous chemical on the road could harm residents of the area."
"The road was so slippery that it was impossible to walk," said 56-year-old Manisha Gupta, another resident. The driver of the tanker has been booked for rash and negligent driving.