Minivan catches fire, hinders traffic flow near Gurugram’s Sirhaul toll
Vehicular movement at Sirhaul toll was partially disrupted for 30 minutes after a minivan caught fire in the service lanes on Saturday morning. No injuries were reported.
According to Millennium City Expressway Ltd (MCEPL) officials, the concessionaire of the expressway, the driver of the van, which was being used as an ambulance by a private hospital, lost control over the vehicle.
“The driver was driving at a high speed, he lost control and the vehicle collided with a jersey barrier. Due to the impact, the vehicle turned turtle. Fortunately, both the driver and his helper escaped unhurt. The van caught fire soon after,” said Phool Chanda Verma, an MCEPL official responsible for traffic management on the highway.
Verma said that a security guard stationed next to a pedestrian subway, less than 30 metres from the spot, informed the MCEPL control room around 10.20am and a rescue vehicle was sent to the spot.
“The vehicle was completely engulfed in flames, as a result of which, those heading towards Rajokri could not proceed any further on the two-lane service road. Both Gurugram police and Delhi Police officials started diverting vehicles towards the main carriageway instead,” said Rajesh Kumar, inspector, Gurugram police.
Kumar said that due to the weekend, the volume of vehicles was extremely low when the incident occurred. However, there was a small snarl at the toll as a lot of onlookers stalled their vehicles and started clicking pictures and shooting videos of the incident, he said.
The Gurugram police also issued an alert about the incident on social media.
“Traffic Alert: Traffic congestion on Sarhol toll NH-48 due to accident of a vehicle and after accident vehicle caught fire at Rajokari service lane towards Delhi. Gurugram traffic police officials are on the spot to facilitate traffic. Inconvenience caused is highly regretted. (sic)” Gurugram traffic police stated in a tweet at 11 am.
Commuters said they were delayed by 15 minutes due to the incident.
“While vehicles could not proceed on the service lane due to a vehicle catching fire, there was problem on the main carriageway as well. A large number of commuters stalled their vehicles to catch a glimpse of the incident as a result of which, the speed of the rest of the vehicles on the left-most lane slowed down to a snail’s pace. I got delayed by 15 minutes due to this,” said Prithviraj Sen, a resident of Sector 50.
A fire tender from Udyog Vihar reached the spot around 10.30am. It took fire department officials five minutes to the douse the fire. The van was completely gutted, said fire department officials. A hydra crane of the MCEPL was subsequently used to remove the vehicle from the spot.
“By 10.54am, the remaining debris was cleared and the service lane was opened for vehicle movement. Traffic movement was completely restored to normal within ten minutes,” said Verma.
The MCEPL and the traffic police identified the driver of the ambulance as one Arjun Singh. However, they had no information on the identity of the second person inside the ‘ambulance’ or the hospital it belonged to.