Truck-tanker collision on expressway causes massive gas leak, traffic jams
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A tanker carrying 30 tonne of inflammable isobutane was hit by a truck on Mumbai-Pune Expressway on Thursday leading to a massive leakage from the tanker. The accident took place around noon near the Khandala exit — where old Mumbai-Pune highway and the expressway meet— causing huge traffic snarls on the expressway and the highway.
The tanker was going towards Pune when a truck from the opposite direction collided with the tanker after the driver lost control. After the accident, the Pune as well as the Mumbai lanes were closed to prevent any untoward incident.
Dileep Bhujbal, superintendent, State Highway Police, said, "The knob of the tanker (valve ) was damaged causing severe gas leakage. "Efforts were made to plug the leak by installing a new valve. However, nothing could be done as the leakage was severe," said Bhujbal.
Three fire tenders from Lonavla, Khopoli and IRB were rushed to the spot to plug the leak. A team of technicians on their way to the accident site to plug the leak, was also caught in the traffic snarl delaying their arrival at the spot.
Bhujbal said a decision to drain out the remaining gas into containers was taken after experts expressed inability to replace the valve.
About the traffic snarls, Bhujbal said the diversions that were put in place by the Highway Police were not effective as the alternative roads were narrow and the volume of traffic too large. He said the location of the accident was such that the Highway Police was unable to divert the traffic effectively.
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