MALAPPURAM: Panic gripped Tanur as a tanker lorry carrying aviation fuel flipped on its side and oil leaked in the area causing long traffic tail-backs and electricity disruption here on Thursday. The oil that leaked and flowed through a canal nearby also went up in flames, engulfing a house, a car and two-wheeler on its way. The fire blazed through the house and destroyed the vehicles.
The occupants of the house escaped unhurt by fleeing the house before it was engulfed in the flame. The situation put the area on the edge for hours even as the firemen and police made their best efforts to bring it under control. Later, the technical experts, arriving at the scene, plugged the leak and averted what could have been a major tragedy. However, the traffic was halted and the electricity supply was cut off for more than four hours owing to the mishap.
The police said the lorry was carrying 20,000 litres of aviation fuel to the Calicut International Airport from Kochi, when it turned turtle. The driver and his assistant escaped unhurt. Though the accident, which took place early in the morning, did not lead to a major mishap, it exposed the chinks in safety setups during emergency situations. The local residents, who were evacuated from their houses soon after the incident, said that it could have become a disaster if the flames were not put out in time. The fire broke out after the authorities promised them that there would not be any kind of explosion, they added.