Sharmili Mallick

Vehicular movement came to a halt on National Highway (NH)-16 on Thursday evening after a tanker loaded with acid reportedly developed a leakage near Champagarh Square in between Khordha and Nayagarh districts.

The Hydrochloric Acid-laden tanker was en route Kolkata in West Bengal from Odisha's Berhampur when at around 8.30 pm the mishap took place, said reports. 

The driver of the tanker said that the valve of the tanker might have suffered damage due to which the leakage occurred. As a result, the area was filled with smoke.

On receiving the reports, teams of fire tenders from Tangi and officials of Chandpur, Ranpur and Police Stations rushed to the spot and sprinkled water on the vehicle and managed to bring the situation out of control.

A technical team was also called upon immediately which reached the spot at around 11.30 pm and transferred the acid in another tanker safely. The entire rescue operation concluded at around 1.30 pm following which the stranded vehicle on both sides of the NH were allowed to pass.

Subsequently, the tanker that developed the leakage was cleared from road.

"The leakage started some two kilometres away. When I realised smoke emanating from the truck here, I stopped the vehicle and informed the fire team with the help of some locals," informed Rama Shankar, the driver of the tanker.

However, the technical team said that a major mishap was averted as there was less movement on the route due to the Covid-19-induced lockdown.

(Edited By Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra)