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Gridlock on Motorway as gas tanker overtrurns

BY: David Paa-Kwesi Able

Motorists and travellers using the Tema Motorway on Thursday, April 28, had a torrid time traversing the 19km road following an accident involving a loaded LPG gas tanker.

The tanker with registration number GN 4513 - 21, had fallen off the road into the median strip and landed on its side near the Coca Cola Bottling Company area a little after midnight, worsening the usual rush hour traffic on both sides of the Motorway.

The driver and his mate sustained minor injuries.

The Urban Search and Rescue team of personnel from the Ghana National Fire Service (Motorway Fire Station) who had responded to distress calls and arrived on the scene at about 1:30am, virtually spent the entire day engaged in rescue activities at the scene of the accident.

When Graphic Online arrived on the scene after 1pm, the firemen had managed to extricate the chassis from the tank body and were seen spraying the tank with water in attempts to cool the temperature of the gas as they evacuated it into a tanker that had been brought in for the purpose, while a couple of police officers were also seen directing traffic that had piled up into a single lane, particularly on the Accra - Tema stretch.

Station Officer II, Samuel Nartey of the Motorway Fire Station who led the team of firemen, told Graphic Online that upon their arrival and assessment of the situation, they realized that the tanker was filled with LPG, and so the team proceeded to install safety measures, including cordoning off the area, charging their hoses in readiness for any fire eventuality, as well as priming their fire extinguishers.

The team then requested for another tanker to be brought in to evacuate the gas, unfortunately the tanker that was brought in had an electric pump which could not be used, until another tanker was sent in at about 5am.

The driver, one Mr. Amoah, told the Fire Service that a cargo truck had crossed him while it was drizzling soon after midnight, and as he swerved to avoid hitting the cargo truck, the tanker landed in the median. He said the driver of the cargo truck only slowed down after the accident but continued his journey without stopping.

As at the time of leaving the scene, the gas evacuation exercise was still ongoing and was likely to hamper the evening rush hour traffic.

Read also: VIDEO: When a gas tanker loaded with LPG overturned on the busy Accra-Tema motorway