Bilawal House area closed off after Kerosene oil spill

Tufail Ahmed/gm Jamali July 09, 2010

KARACHI: After a Kandahar-bound oil tanker carrying 40,000 litres of Kerosene turned over near Bilawal House on Thursday, all hotels and restaurants in the area have been asked to remain shut for 24 hours.

The tanker, carrying Kerosene for Nato forces in Afghanistan, was removed with the help of heavy cranes after a six-hour struggle.

According to the traffic police, the accident occurred because the tanker was speeding. The kerosene spilled out of the truck and spread all over the road near Bilawal Chowrangi. On Friday, sand was cast over the surface in a bid to make the road usable for traffic.

Meanwhile, Sindh environment minister Sheikh Muhammad Afzal instructed the Sindh Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) to send a monitoring team to the site.

The team headed by Sepa director technical Waqar Hussain, after surveying the area, said the Kerosene had entered the area’s drainage system.

The team instructed the city government to dispose off the oil-stained sand in a landfill area at Surjani Town. The Sepa monitoring team assigned one officer to ensure that the disposal is carried out properly.

According to pulmonary specialist Dr Ashraf Sadiq, the spill can cause many diseases among the residents because Kerosene contains hydrocarbons and sulphur. The fumes of these chemicals if inhaled can cause problems such as asthma, eye infections and throat allergies, he explained. “The oil spill is expected to affect children the most,” Dr Sadiq said.

Dow University of Health Sciences (DUHS) pro vice-chancellor Prof Umer Farooq said that all over the world crude oil is transported extra carefully on secure routes. However, in Karachi, these tankers take dangerous materials through the middle of the city, he said.

“This is why people’s health is always at risk.”

Experts believe that the spill will worsen the city’s environmental pollution. They advise residents of the area to keep their food and drink covered.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 10th, 2010.


Syed A. Mateen | 11 years ago | Reply Unless the oil tankers are not removed from Block No. 1 of Clifton, such incidents may occur time and again. The roads leading to Billawal House Chowrangi should be closed for the oil tankers once and for all.
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