Oil tanker turns turtle; truck falls near Nizam Club, also leading to traffic jams
Peak-hour traffic in the morning was thrown out of gear when a speeding oil tanker turned turtle at Tarnaka, while another truck hauling a container fell on its side at Nizam Club in the city centre on Thursday.
At Tarnaka, a major catastrophe was averted with alert police officials shifting the tanker, which was transporting highly inflammable Toluene, carefully and liberally using foam with four fire-tenders. Even a single spark emanating while lifting the container could have ignited the Toluene that leaked from the tanker, resulting in a major explosion near the Aradhana theatre end of Tarnaka flyover, authorities said.
Closure of traffic on Tarnaka-Habsiguda stretch, however, led to a massive traffic jam for hours together in all connected routes. The tanker going towards Secunderabad hit the divider on Tarnaka flyover near Aradhana theatre and overturned around 4.30 a.m. Its driver fled. On learning that leaking Toluene would easily catch fire, the police first blocked traffic flow from either side. After initial efforts to lift the tanker with four small cranes failed, the police requisitioned a heavy duty crane from Nacharam and removed the vehicle. The four fire-tenders began spraying foam on Toluene to check the possibility of it catching fire while the vehicle was being lifted. The sudden closure of the Taranka-Habsiguda stretch confused the commuters – majority of them travelling from L.B. Nagar, Nagole, Uppal and Habsiguda sides to Secunderabad.
For them, Habsiguda-Nacharam-Moula Ali-Tarnaka was the only alternative route but it was too long. Traffic was held up at several places since commuters coming from Secunderabad to Habasiguda too had to take the same route. Some of them tried to reach Tarnaka by entering the road leading to Snehapuri Colony from Habsiguda side, only to turn up at CCMB. This resulted in a gridlock situation as they could not go further towards Tarnaka or in reverse direction due to continuous flow of vehicles.
Traffic Police Additional Commissioner, C.V. Anand, who visited the area, said the incident emphasised the need for a traffic diversion contingency plan and better coordination between the traffic police of Hyderabad and Cyberabad.
As per the draft plan, the traffic policemen would be posted at every lane and different points on the main road holding placards containing details of traffic diversions.
In another incident, a truck hauling a container going towards Police Control Room side fell on its side near Nizam Club around 5 a.m. Police said the driver was apparently at high speed and lost control. The accident triggered traffic snarls in adjacent routes.