Salem police said that the tanker was carrying LPG from Chennai to a bottling plant at Perundurai in Erode district. When the tanker reached the toll plaza at Mettupatti near Vazhapadi, the vehicle broke down.
Since it was blocking traffic at the toll plaza, efforts were made to move it aside with an earthmover. But, in the act, the rear end of the tanker was damaged and the LPG started leaking from it. The shocked crew of the tanker asked the toll plaza staff to move away from their posts and tried to plug the leak.
Their efforts failed to yield the desired results and they alerted the police and fire and rescue services personnel.
Fire and rescue services personnel sprayed water with high pressure on the damaged portion of the tank. This helped to prevent the vehicle from heating up. The rescue personnel informed the bottling plant authorities and asked them to rush to the spot to plug the leak. Nearly 15 tankers kept spraying water on the LPG tanker for about fourand-a half hours till the technical staff attended to the problem. The bottling plant staff fixed the leak in the next half-an-hour and traffic resumed after five hours on the stretch.