The rising number of accidents involving gas tankers on the busy Thekkil Ghat section of the National Highway has put the spotlight on the need to find alternative means of transporting gas so as to ensure safety of motorists.

The latest in a series of accidents occurred on Sunday morning when a gas tanker rammed the roadside wall after the driver lost control of the vehicle while passing through the interlock-laid stretch of the road, en route to Mangalore.

The engine cabin of the tanker was badly damaged in the accident, which occurred barely hours after a private bus collided with a truck, leading to a road block for hours on Saturday evening.

The accident spot is just yards away from a sloping curve at the old check-post point where an empty tanker and a mini-truck had plunged 50 ft into a roadside ditch a few days ago. Authorities, in a bid to slow down vehicle movement at the accident-prone spot, had laid 10-line humps.

“The recurring accidents point to the need to do introspection on chalking out alternative means to transport the bulky and heavy gas tankers.

The busy and congested single-lane National Highway is already saturated with heavy vehicle traffic,” said M. Gangadharan, a schoolteacher.

It is high time that the authorities seriously debated the safety aspects of road travel, especially during the peak monsoon season in the wake of the tanker accidents at Chala in Kannur last year and a similar one at Uppinangadi, near Mangalore, earlier this year that cost precious human lives, Mr. Gangdharan said.

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