Major fire in a dumping yard in Pallkaranai disrupted traffic and affected visibility for motorists for hours on Saturday
A major fire broke out in the garbage dumping yard at Pallikaranai on Saturday throwing vehicular traffic off gear on Velachery Main Road and adjoining areas for many hours. Residents near the dumping yard moved to other locations as they suffered breathing problems.
Chennai Corporation sources said the fire in the 15-acre dumping yard started around 2 a.m. on Saturday and quickly spread to the huge pile of garbage, including plastic, paper and chemical wastes.
By daybreak, thick white smoke started billowing from the burning waste and engulfed adjoining areas of Mylai Balaji Nagar, Ram Nagar and Sadasivan Nagar. Some residents were confined to their houses while others left the area after they experienced difficulty in breathing and severe irritation in the eyes.
Six fire tenders from fire stations at Raj Bhavan, Guindy and Nandanam rushed to the area but the flames could not be contained despite firemen battling the blaze till afternoon. Visibility was reduced due to the smoke and motorists moved at a snail's pace.
The chaos also led to a minor accident when a motorcyclist rammed a lorry and suffered head injuries. He was admitted to a hospital and is out of danger, a police officer said.
Vehicles plying on Velachery Main Road were diverted. Traffic police diverted MTC buses coming from Tambaram and heading to Velachery to 200-Feet Road. Vehicles going from Velachery to Tambaram were intercepted at Kaiveli and diverted to Madipakkam Main Road.
Late in the evening, firemen continued to struggle with the flames which shrouded the entire area in smoke, the police officer said.