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Cautious area residents as well as timely action by the police and administration averted any major fire accidents at Chatrapur in Ganjam district of Odisha following overturning of a tanker on Sunday and LPG leakage from it. Life returned to normal in the one km radius of the accident site after over 24 hours on Monday.
Gas from the damaged tanker was transferred to other tankers by the company’s technical team with the help of fire officials. Five platoons of police force and five units of fire brigade had been deployed for over 24 hours. Inspector General of Police (IGP) Amitabh Thakur, Ganjam Collector P. C. Choudhary and SP Narasingha Bhol monitored the operations.
Mr Bhol had patrolled the area on cycle and the police officials had used cycle-rickshaws to make people aware of the restrictions. All schools and colleges in Chatrapur also remained closed on Monday.
The selection process for the Odisha Industrial Security Force at Chatrapur was also cancelled on Monday. Power supply, discontinued since Sunday afternoon, was restored at 4 p.m. on Monday. The tanker had overturned just 10 metres away from a 33 kV sub-station. Southco executive engineer Prabhat Kumar Kar ordered the supply to be shut. Power supply was disrupted at Rambha and Ganjam towns and nearby villages.
Vehicular traffic was resumed at around 1 p.m. on Monday. Several incoming and outgoing trucks had been stranded on NH-16 at Chatrapur and had blocked one side of the four-lane highway for around ten kms.
Area residents had been advised not to ignite any fire in the vicinity. Thus they had not cooked food since Sunday morning and survived on dry items or food brought from other places. On Monday, Chatrapur MLA arranged food for families in some localities. Some like Laxmi Nayak said although they had a hard time, they obeyed all instructions of police and administration.
By Monday noon, gas presence in the air had come down to safe levels and there was no more danger, said Mr. Thakur. Meanwhile, after the overturned tanker was lifted, it was found that two, not three, persons had been killed including a woman named Kiranbala Sahu and one Ramesh Chandra Sahu. Only two persons, including a woman, were killed when the tanker overturned
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