Diesel-laden tanker catches fire; driver, helper dead

Nagpur: A tanker driver and his helper were charred to death after their diesel-laden vehicle overturned and caught fire near Kondhali village on Nagpur-Amravati Highway on Sunday, police said.

The incident, which occurred around 2 pm, threw the traffic on the highway out of gear for over two hours as vehicles were not allowed to ply as a precautionary measure, police said.

“The tanker was going towards Kondhali from Nagpur when one of its tyres burst near Dudhala village. The driver lost control of the vehicle, which overturned after hitting the median. Its tyres caught fire and soon the entire tanker was gutted in the blaze,” an official said.

“The driver of the vehicle and his helper could not get a chance to escape and they charred to death inside. Local residents rushed to the spot and alerted the police.

Fire tenders doused the flames after two hours of operation,” he added. A blanket of thick black smoke engulfed the area, causing panic among locals.

“As a precautionary measure, the highway was shut for vehicular movement for over two hours, which created a severe traffic jam,” the official said. According to him, efforts to identify the deceased were on.

“There appears to be no clue left behind as the number plate of the vehicle, documents and other details were completely destroyed in the blaze. We hope the tanker owner will approach the police and reveal names of the deceased, he said. Kondhali police have registered a case of accidental death.