The cargo from a container lorry fell on to two stationery LPG tankers on Manali-Tiruvottiyur High Road in Sathangadu, Manali on Monday night.
No one was injured in the incident, but police said the situation had been potentially dangerous as the tankers could have gone up in flames. Around 9.15 p.m., the container lorry, carrying a consignment of corn, was heading towards the Chennai port from the Inland Container Depot in Sathangadu, when its rear wheel got struck in a ditch at the corner of the road.
Two bullet LPG tankers had been parked at that spot, which is close to the main entrance of Kothari Petrochemicals Ltd. The tankers, from Haldia Petrochemical Ltd in West Bengal, had been there since Monday morning, waiting for clearance to enter the compound to unload their consignment.
When its wheel got stuck, the container lorry tipped to the side, and its cargo fell on to the tankers, toppling them. Traffic was hit on the stretch for nearly an hour. Traffic police from Manali and Madhavaram arrived, and barricades were put around the vehicles. The police alerted officials of Chennai Petroleum Corporation Ltd and Kothari. Large cranes were brought to the spot, and over two hours later, the lorry and one of the tankers were removed.
“We sprayed foam on the LPG tankers to prevent fire in case of a gas leakage. Luckily, the stretch is isolated, away from residential areas,” said a Kothari official.
Police and fire service officers said adequate precautions should have been taken before parking vehicles loaded with inflammable products at a public spot.
“Companies should provide space for tankers to park inside their premises. Because of the rain, the stretch had turned slushy which made removing the vehicles difficult,” a police officer said.
A case has been registered.