Soorikumeru residents panic as LPG leaks from bullet tanker

Soorikumeru residents panic as LPG leaks from bullet tanker

Traffic disrupted for 16 hours on national highway

 Panic gripped the residents of Soorikumeru on Mangaluru-Bengaluru National Highway as an LPG tanker lorry overturned at 12 am on Tuesday.

Fearing leakage of gas, the inmates of houses nearby ran helter skelter. The driver of the bullet tanker lost control over the vehicle and veered it off the road. As a result, the movement of vehicles on the highway was disrupted for 16 hours. 

The movement of vehicles started after the LPG gas from the tanker was shifted to another vehicle at 3 pm on Tuesday.

The leakage of gas from the tanker gutted Hotel Amma belonging to one Lakshminarayana situated on Soorikumeru Junction. The Fire and Emergency Services Department personnel, who rushed to the spot, were successful in dousing the fire.

The inmates of more than 80 houses situated in and around Soorikumeru were shifted to a safer place as a precautionary measure. Some persons stayed at temples, mosques, marriage halls till Monday morning and later proceeded to their relatives’ houses.

All vehicles plying on the national highway were stopped at Kalladka, Kabaka and Mani. The vehicles from Bengaluru, Mangaluru and Puttur were diverted to Vittal Road. The officials also asked the residents not to use mobile phones and light fire for cooking in the vicinity. An alternative tanker was pressed to service to shift the LPG from the tanker.

The firemen sprayed water continuously on the nozzle of the gas tanker trolley, which had got separated from the front engine, to prevent the leakage. More than 70 firemen in 10 fire tenders stationed at Kadri and Pandeshwar, Mangaluru, Beltangady, Puttur, Bantwal worked the entire night to check the leakage. Experts from HPCL and Total Gas rushed to the spot.

Bantwal Tahsildar Purandar Hegde said that a report will be sent to district in-charge minister and deputy commissioner on gutting of a hotel in fire, for release of compensation.

The tanker was laden with 18 tonne gas.Though experts rushed to the spot and tried to plug the leakage, they were not successful in it till morning.

 The narrow road in Vittal resulted in traffic jam throughout the day. Traffic came to a standstill on four-kilometre stretch from Bobbekeri-Kambalabettu at Vittal.

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