LPG tanker blast in Haryana creates chaos on highway

April 13th, 2009 - 6:08 pm ICT by IANS  

Ambala (Haryana), April 13 (IANS) A tanker carrying liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) exploded, following a gas leak, on National Highway-1 near Ambala Monday, the police said. Officials said a major tragedy was averted, as barring one person who suffered burn injuries, there was no other casualty.
The LPG tanker was on its way to Jammu from Ghaziabad. A car hit it from the rear leading to a gas leak from one of its valves.

Despite this, driver of the tanker drove it for about two-three kilometers and then abandoned it on the road, the police said.

“We immediately reached the spot on getting information and found that gas was leaking at a very rapid pace. We immediately stopped the traffic coming in that direction and sounded a high alert in the area,” Rameshwar Sharma, deputy superintendent of police, Ambala told IANS.

Sharma added: “After 10 minutes the tanker exploded and the blast was so massive that the pieces of the tanker fell at a distance of 300-400 metres. As many as 20 fire tenders were pressed into service to stop the fire and it took nearly five hours to control it.”

The traffic was diverted to alternative routes for about three hours, leading to a chaotic situation on National Highway-1.

There is a railway track parallel to the accident spot and the flames also reached there where a guard was asleep.

“The injured guard was rushed to Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research in Chandigarh with serious burn injuries. There has been a loss of LPG gas worth Rs.11 lakh (Rs. 1.1 million),” Sharma said.

Sharma said that a major tragedy has been averted, as there were two more LPG tankers and a diesel truck parked near the accident spot, but these were removed in time from the area.

A senior police official on condition of anonymity said: “The fire could have been stopped earlier and there would have been less chaos if the fire brigade vans had come on time. They came 45 minutes late after getting information from the police control room.”

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