Gas tanker falls into pit, Goa highway traffic hit for 8 hrs
Chemical Leak Causes Panic, Driver Booked
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.
The container in the trench and the resultant queue of trucks and buses at Kharpada (see map below)
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