KARWAR: Villagers of Kadra near Kaiga Atomic Power Station in Karwar taluk panicked after a chemical leaked from a tanker and got mixed with Kali river water.Soon after the incident took place on Friday, the Kadra gram panchayat asked the villagers not to use the water supplied from a well located close to the spot until a lab report is received.The leaked chemical caused the death of fish in the river, sources said.
They said the tanker from Tamil Nadu was carrying hydrochloric acid to Kaiga nuclear plant. “The driver took a wrong route. The tanker was stuck in mud when it was moving in the reverse direction on Wednesday. It was towed away with an earthmover on Friday. But the valve of the tanker was damaged and all the 18 litres of the hydrochloric acid leaked and flowed into the river”, a local said.
The chemical caught fire and the Kadra police rushed to the spot and informed fire fighters. Forest officials, fire personnel and villagers doused the flames. But the acid flowed into the river causing the death of fish, the sources said. Officials of Kaiga nuclear plant who visited the spot said the tanker had nothing to do with the plant and the vehicle belongs to a contractor. “We have no idea about the chemical it was carrying,” said an official.
Gurudas Shet, vice-president of Kadra gram panchayat, said there was not much damage after leak of the chemical. “Still we sent the water samples to Karwar laboratory. After getting a report, we will decide whether to supply drinking water from the well on the bank of Kali river”, he said.
Kaiga nuclear plant officials said it was a minor accident and there was nothing serious.