Gas tanker falls into pit, Goa high­way traf­fic hit for 8 hrs

Chem­i­cal Leak Causes Panic, Driver Booked

The Times of India (Mumbai edition) - - TIMES CITY - Ge­orge Men­donca

Navi Mum­bai: A propy­lene gas tanker plunged into an 8ft­deep trench dug up for road widen­ing near Kharpada toll plaza in Raigad and dis­rupted traf­fic on the Mum­bai-Goa high­way for al­most eight hours early on Satur­day. Trucks and buses could be seen lined up near the toll plaza till morn­ing as the mishap caused leak­age of the highly com­bustible and pun­gent-smelling gas .

As the odour led to panic among truck­ers, traf­fic po­lice per­son­nel cordoned off 200m area around the ac­ci­dent spot and halted ve­hi­cles on both the car­riage­ways. Lo­cals as well as passersby com­plained of burn­ing sen­sa­tion in eyes and an un­bear­able stench.

Sub-in­spec­tor Dagdu Kakade of Pan­vel Taluka po­lice sta­tion said, “The tanker was trav­el­ling from Jam­na­gar to Re­liance In­dus­tries Lim­ited, Nagothane with 15 tonnes of propy­lene gas. Around 2am on Satur­day, the driver de­cided to take some rest mid­way and parked near a road­side eatery. But the man­ager of the eatery told the driver to move the ve­hi­cle and park it ahead. When the driver tried to take a re­verse to move the ve­hi­cle, he missed the trench in the dark and drove into it. The tanker’s valve was dam­aged and the gas started leak­ing.”

Kakade fur­ther said, “Traf­fic head­ing to­wards Alibaug was di­verted from Palaspe phata along Khopoli by­pass road and also via Kha­la­pur. While the fire bri­gade con­tin­u­ously sprayed wa­ter jet on the leak­ing gas tanker, the leak could be con­trolled only around 7am and traf­fic move­ment was al­lowed in­ter­mit­tently.”

Se­nior in­spec­tor Ashok Ra­jput of Pan­vel taluka po­lice sta­tion said, “We have ar­rested the tanker driver, Rand­hir Sharma (30), from Mad­hya Pradesh. He has been booked for neg­li­gent driv­ing. An FIR has been reg­is­tered un­der sec­tions 279, 336 and 285 of the IPC with Sec­tion184 of Mo­tor Ve­hi­cle Act. As the gas leak­age spot was about 10km from the Kar­nala bird sanc­tu­ary, wildlife was not af­fected.”

Pradeep Shi­rod­kar, gen­eral man­ager of Re­liance In­dus­tries Lim­ited at Nagothane, said, “As it was not pos­si­ble to plug the gas leak­age en­tirely, we did what­ever was pos­si­ble and trans­ferred the propy­lene gas into two empty tankers. Ma­jor­ity of the gas was vented out un­der con­trolled con­di­tions by the fire bri­gade, thus prevent­ing dis­perse of the com­bustible gas. There was no cloud for­ma­tion of the gas. The fire bri­gade from MIDC, Taloja , Cidco and Patal­ganga sent seven fire ten­ders. We send two fire ten­ders from our com­pany at Nagothane.”

Ul­has Thakur (61), a chem­i­cal ex­pert and lec­turer on in­dus­trial safety, said, “Propy­lene gas is not only com­bustible but also highly flammable and ex­plo­sive. It is a com­pressed gas in liq­uid form in­side a tanker, which has a tap, a liq­uid valve and vapour valve. If the chem­i­cal comes out in a gaseous form from the tanker’s tap, ice is formed and can be plugged eas­ily. But if it leaks out of the liq­uid or vapour valve, clouds are formed.” Beed/Mum­bai: The mother of film­maker Vi­jay Gutte, di­rec­tor of the re­cently re­leased film ‘The Ac­ci­den­tal Prime Min­is­ter’, has lodged a com­plaint of do­mes­tic vi­o­lence against her hus­band at Parli in Beed dis­trict, an of­fi­cial said. Su­damati Gutte lodged the com­plaint against Rat­nakar Gutte and his six fam­ily mem­bers, they said.

“In her com­plaint filed on Fri­day, she al­leged that her hus­band and his fam­ily sub­jected her to men­tal and phys­i­cal tor­ture over a fam­ily dis­pute. They also threat­ened her to trans­fer a prop­erty to their name,” the of­fi­cial said. Su­damati al­leged that her hus­band had the habit of drink­ing and vis­it­ing dance bars, and used to sub­ject her to phys­i­cal and men­tal tor­ture, po­lice said.

Based on her com­plaint, a case was reg­is­tered against Rat­nakar and his fam­ily mem­bers, he said. They have been booked un­der IPC sec­tions 498A (hus­band or rel­a­tive of hus­band of a woman sub­ject­ing her to cru­elty), 323 (pun­ish­ment for vol­un­tar­ily caus­ing hurt) 504 (in­ten­tional in­sult with in­tent to pro­voke breach of peace) and oth­ers.

No ar­rest has been made in this con­nec­tion so far, the of­fi­cial said, adding in­ves­ti­ga­tion was un­der way.

In Au­gust last year, Vi­jay Gutte was ar­rested for al­leged GST fraud of over Rs 34 crore. He had been booked un­der sec­tion 132 (1)(c) of the CGST Act, which per­tains to “wrong­ful avail­ment” of in­put tax credit us­ing bills and in­voices that have been is­sued with­out any sup­ply of goods or ser­vices.

Pics: K C Singh

The con­tainer in the trench and the re­sul­tant queue of trucks and buses at Kharpada (see map be­low)

Mum­bai Navi Mum­bai Kar­nala

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