Evacuation as fuel tanker overturns

Gareth Wilson

HOUSES and buildings along one of the main roads on the outskirts of Despatch in Nelson Mandela Bay were evacuated yesterday afternoon when a tanker flipped over, causing a diesel and petrol spill.

Authorities and emergency workers closed off the old Cuyler Manor Road, also known as the R333, while firefighters and hazardous material (hazmat) experts tried to contain the spill. The truck was transporting fuel to Port Elizabeth.

The truck driver escaped with minor injuries and was taken to Cuyler Hospital and later transferred to Greenacres Hospital.

Earth-moving equipment was used to build a wall of sand along the road to prevent the fuel and diesel flowing into the nearby Swartkops River.

Officials said the driver claimed he had lost control of the tanker after experiencing tyre problems and it flipped over. The main tanker contained 20000 litres of petrol and a trailer 10000 litres of diesel.

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