Tanker in flames, one burnt to death
Barasat: A man was burnt to death after a fuel tanker overturned and caught fire on Jessore Road in Duttapukur, North 24-Parganas, on Tuesday morning.
Two fire tenders were sent to douse the flames. Fire brigade personnel recovered a charred body trapped in the driver's cabin.
The driver and the helper managed to come out in the nick of time.
Police said the tanker had caught fire in front of a fuel pump on National Highway 112 (Jessore Road) around 3am.
Residents of the area told the police that they had rushed out hearing screams of employees of the fuel pump and saw the tanker in flames.
"Pump employees helped the driver and the helper come out of the tanker but failed to reach another person as the flames soon engulfed the driver's cabin. Hand-held fire extinguishers were brought from the office of the pump but they proved inadequate," an officer of Duttapukur police station said.
Pump employees tried to control the fire by throwing sand into it but failed.
Firefighters from Habra fought for over two hours to bring the blaze under control.
"The tanker was carrying diesel. Our first priority was to prevent the flames from spreading to the pump. There would have been a disaster had the fire spread to the pump," an officer in the fire and emergency services department said.
The police said the tanker, heading towards Barasat, skidded off the road and overturned. "We did not find any evidence of collision. It appears the vehicle was speeding," an officer said.
Traffic on Jessore Road was disrupted for over three hours because of the fire.
Goods vehicles ply along Jessore Road throughout the night. Most of them carry items that are exported to Bangladesh through the Bongaon border.
Truckers try to reach Bongaon before the day breaks so that the goods can be taken to other side of the border before the rush hour.
A 32-year-old flower seller was killed when he was hit by a truck on National Highway 6 in East Midnapore's Kolaghat on Tuesday morning. People of the area blocked the Calcutta-bound lane of highway in protest for an hour. Police managed to persuade the agitators to call off the blockade after an hour.