Scare in Goa..Ammonia leak near airport


Panaji, Jan 19  A tanker carrying ammonia gas leaked on NH-17 in the vicinity of Goa's Dabolim international airport, forcing authorities to evacuate dozens of families from Chicalim village in South Goa in the wee hours of Friday. The situation was brought under control after nearly seven hours, after fire-fighters, police officials and members of disaster response teams cordoned off the area and eventually brought the leak under control. "The tanker has been moved from the highway after the leak was brought under control on Friday afternoon. The tanker fell into a ditch while avoiding a vehicle and that caused the gas leakage," Police Inspector N. Raposo told reporters here. The driver of the tanker has been arrested. Two women residing in the vicinity of the accident site were taken to a nearby hospital for first aid after they complained of suffocation, but were later discharged from the Chicalim Cottage Hospital, an official said. The accident occurred at 3:30 a.m. in Chicalim village near the airport, some 25km from the state capital, the police said. The tanker was carrying 15 tonnes of ammonia gas-liquid weighing 35 tonne and was enroute from Mormugao Port Trust to Zuari Agro Chemicals Ltd at Chicalim. As a precautionary measure, the South Goa district administration directed closure of schools in the vicinity for a day.