Cassian Baliarsingh

Panic gripped the residents of Karlapada after a gas tanker overturned on National Highway-16 early Sunday morning near Pastipada in Kalahandi district.

There have been no casualties in the accident. However, massive gas leakage has been reported following the mishap, reports said. 
Meanwhile, efforts are on by emergency and first responders to take control of the situation.  A team of fire brigade personnel is on the spot to prevent any untoward incident.

The tanker filled with gas was en-route to Raipur in Chhattisgarh from Bhawanipatna when the mishap occurred. 
Though the exact reason for the accident is unknown, the mishap could have occurred after the driver lost control of the vehicle.

Meanwhile, the movement of vehicular traffic has come to a standstill on the NH following the mishap. The vehicles are being diverted on the NH and efforts are on to contain the gas leakage.

Local police also rushed to the spot and tried to bring the situation under control. The Electricity department also snapped power supply to the area to avoid any untoward incident. Panic looms large in the area following the mishap. Officials of the administration are visiting nearby villages and urged people to refrain from lighting fire.

When contacted, Sukant Sethy, former Fire Safety Officer said, “LPG is a volatile gas. It is a mixture of butane and ethane. It is heavier than air, so it won’t easily mix with the air. So, the special technical team will have to immediately reach the spot with a specialized vehicle (RAV) and will unload the gas from the tanker.”

“The first and foremost step is to take precautions. The only precaution is to spray water. But, they should not directly pour in the leakage area. This will lead to an explosion. So, they should spray water only in the open air so that the gas is dissolved," said Sethy.

“Moreover, people should not light any fire in the area nearby. And all electric supply should be snapped immediately to prevent any further mishap,” he added.

Meanwhile, a special technical team is on its way to assist in the ongoing operation.