LPG-truck tanker accident and consequence management during Covid-19 pandemic: A case from India

Volume 4, Issue 2, April 2021     |     PP. 11-33      |     PDF (911 K)    |     Pub. Date: September 28, 2021
DOI: 10.54647/tte58041    94 Downloads     87082 Views  


Ramesh Kumar Behera, Directorate of Factories and Boilers, Odisha, India

The ever-growing use of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) for domestic and industrial purposes increased the chances of accidents during transportation. The risk of fire, explosions, and environmental hazards due to LPG- truck tanker mishaps loom large on national highways and their mitigation became a concern during the Covid-19 pandemic. This paper reports on the characteristics of LPG-truck tanker mishaps in India and proposes a revised disaster response model for pandemic scenarios. This study is based on secondary data and field experiments from two real cases in India. We have analyzed fifty LPG-truck tanker incidents during the period 2009-2020, examined the type, distribution, and cause of cases, the influence of weather, engineering and regulatory interventions, and looked at the psychology of first responders in the lockdown phase. We have used R and MS-Excel for data analysis. The study showed that the largest share of accidents (26 %) occurred early in the morning between 4.00-8.00 hours. Cold weather increased the vulnerability with 41% of cases reported in the winter season. The percentage of incidents resulting in the toppling of tankers was maximum (50%) followed by collision and equipment failure. The study showed that accidents were less during the Covid-19 pandemic. Defective road design, poor maintenance, and negligent driving increased the accident rate. However, a slowdown in inspection, audit and mock drills was conspicuous which could be detrimental in the long term. The findings of this study and the recommendations such as enforcement of traffic norms, proper road design, and construction, implementation of SOPs and IEC measures, mock exercises, and revised emergency protocols could be helpful for prevention of HazMat-accidents in future.

Transportation accident; LPG-truck tanker mishaps; Covid-19 and accident control; Accident and emergency response; Emergency management in India, Regulatory interventions

Cite this paper
Ramesh Kumar Behera, LPG-truck tanker accident and consequence management during Covid-19 pandemic: A case from India , SCIREA Journal of Traffic and Transportation. Volume 4, Issue 2, April 2021 | PP. 11-33. 10.54647/tte58041


[ 1 ] Al-Dahash, H., Kulatunga, U., &Thayaparan, M. (2018); Weaknesses during the disaster response management resulting from war operations and terrorism in Iraq. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction,doi:10.1016/j.ijdrr.2018.12.003.
[ 2 ] Behera R.K., Hassan M.I., Disaster management using mock drills, Vilakshyan, XIMB Journal of Management, Vol 14 (2017) pp. 51-78.
[ 3 ] Behera, R. K., & Hassan, M. I. (2019); Regulatory interventions and industrial accidents: A case from India for “Vision Zero” goals. Safety Science, 113, pp. 415–424, doi:10.1016/j.ssci.2018.12.013 
[ 4 ] Bariha, N., Mishra, I. M., & Srivastava, V. C. (2016). Fire and explosion hazard analysis during surface transport of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG): A case study of LPG truck tanker accident in Kannur, Kerala, India. Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, 40, 449–460. doi:10.1016/j.jlp.2016.01.020
[ 5 ] Binder S, Sanderson LM (1987); The role of the epidemiologist in natural disasters. Annals of Emergency Medicine;16: pp.1081 –1084.
[ 6 ] Brown, C., Milke, M., & Seville, E. (2011). Disaster waste management: A review article. Waste Management, 31(6), 1085–1098.doi:10.1016/j.wasman.2011.01.027 
[ 7 ] Bureau of Indian Standards (IS-2825), 1969. Code for Unfired Pressure Vessels. Available at: https://law.resource.org/pub/in/bis/S08/is.2825.1969.pdf. Accessed on 24 February 2021.
[ 8 ] Bureau of Indian Standards (IS-9618), 1980. Specification for Road Tanker for Liquefied Petroleum Gas. Available at: ftp://law.resource.org/pub/in/bis/S08/is. 9618.1980.pdf Accessed on 7 April 20201.
[ 9 ] Bureau of Indian Standards (IS-4576), 1999. Liquefied Petroleum Gases-specification. Available at: https://law.resource.org/pub/in/bis/S11/is.4576.1999.pdf Accessed on 7 April 2021.
[ 10 ] Coleman, L. (2006). Frequency of Man-Made Disasters in the 20th Century. Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, 14(1), 3–11.doi:10.1111/j.1468-5973.2006.00476.x
[ 11 ] Deng, J.F., Yang, C.C., Tsai, W.J., Ger, J., Wu, M.L., Acute ethylene chlorohydrin poisonings: experience of a poison control center, Clin. Toxicol. 39 (6) (2001) 587–593.
[ 12 ] Gallab, M., Bouloiz, H., Garbolino, E., Tkiouat, M., ElKilani, M. A., & Bureau, N. (2017). Risk analysis of maintenance activities in a LPG supply chain with a Multi-Agent approach. Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, 47, 41–56. doi:10.1016/j.jlp.2017.02.026
[ 13 ] GoI. (2005).NDMA, Government of India, The Disaster Management Act, 2005; http://atingl.nic.in/Downloads/THE%20DISASTER%20MANAGEMENT%20 ACT%202005.pdf. (accessed 24.2.2021)
[ 14 ] Goodyear E.J (2009), The State of Disaster Risk Reduction In Iraq, UNDP/OCHA, New York
[ 15 ] Gupta A. K., Nair S S, Chopde S, Singh PK (2010) Policies and strategic options for disaster risk management in India. In: Risk to resilience – strategic tools for disaster risk management. Proceedings of the Intl. Conf. Risk to Resilience, New Delhi, Feb 2009, NIDM, ISET, WII, NOAA, DFID. http://i-s-e-t.org/resources/major-program-reports/risk-to-resilience-workshop.html
[ 16 ] Hanna, S. R., Strimaitis, D. G., & Chang, J. C. (1991). Evaluation of fourteen hazardous gas models with ammonia and hydrogen fluoride field data.Journal of Hazardous Materials, 26(2), 127–158, doi:10.1016/0304-3894 (91)80002-6.
[ 17 ] Haghani, M., Bliemer, M. C. J., Goerlandt, F., & Li, J. (2020). The scientific literature on Coronaviruses, COVID-19 and its associated safety-related research dimensions: A scientometric analysis and scoping review. Safety Science, 104806. doi:10.1016/j.ssci.2020.104806
[ 18 ] Hu, C.Y., Raymond, D.J., Lessons learned from hazardous chemical incidents—Louisiana Hazardous Substances Emergency Events Surveillance (HSEES) system, J. Hazard. Mater. 115 (2004) 33–38.
[ 19 ] Sellami, I., Manescau, B., Chetehouna, K., de Izarra, C., Nait-Said, R., &Zidani, F. (2018). BLEVE fireball modeling using Fire Dynamics Simulator (FDS) in an Algerian gas industry. Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, 54, 69–84. doi:10.1016/j.jlp.2018.02.010 
[ 20 ] International Labour Office, Geneva (1993); Major Hazard Control, A practical manual: 1 [Internet]Gas leak from LPG tanker sparks panic in Odisha’s Angul;https://kalingatv.com/state/gas-leak-from-lpg-tanker-sparks-panic-in-odishas-angul/ . Accessed on 24 February 2021.
[ 21 ] [Internet] Accident-prone NH-66 at Vattappara witnesses another LPG tanker mishap; https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kozhikode/accident-prone-nh-66-at-vattappara-witnesses-another-lpg-tanker-mishap/articleshow/74782614.cms. Accessed on 24 February 2021.
[ 22 ] [Internet] Gas tanker topples on NH 75, traffic disrupted; https://www.deccanherald.com/state/gas-tanker-topples-on-nh-75-traffic-disrupted-751637.html, Accessed on 24 February 2021.
[ 23 ] [Internet]Departmental Disaster Management plan of Odisha http://dfbodisha.gov.in/sites/default/files/Disaster%20Mgt.%20Plan%20-%20final.pdf. Accessed on 24 February 2021.
[ 24 ] [Internet] Annual activity report of Labour and ESI Department http://labour.odisha.gov.in/LED/Download/AAR-2017_18-English.pdf,Accessed on 24 February 2021.
[ 25 ] [Internet] Two dead as truck, LPG Tanker collide and catch fire in Odisha;https://sambadenglish.com/two-dead-as-truck-lpg-tanker-collide-catch-fire-in-odisha/.Accessed on 24 February 2021.
[ 26 ] [Internet] LPG tanker overturns on NH53 in Odisha, traffic affected; https://kalingatv.com/state/lpg-tanker-overturns-on-nh-53-in-odisha-traffic-affected/ . Accessed on 24 February 2021.
[ 27 ] [Internet] Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas (MPNG), Govt. Of India. 2017 Available at: http://petroleum.nic.in/sites/default/files/ipngstat_0.pdf. Accessed on 24 February 2021.
[ 28 ] [Internet] India becomes world's 2nd largest LPG consumer after government's Ujjawla push; https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/industry/energy/oil-gas/india-becomes-worlds-2nd-largest-lpg-consumer-after-governments-ujjawla push/articleshow/67849012.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst. Accessed on 24 February 2021.
[ 29 ] Khanzode V.V., Maiti J., & Ray P.K.(2012 ) Occupational injury and accident research: A comprehensive review. Safety Science, 50(5), 1355–1367. doi:10.1016/j.ssci.2011.12.015
[ 30 ] Kidam, K., Hussin, N. E., Hassan, O., Ahmad, A., Johari, A., & Hurme, M. (2014). Accident prevention approach throughout process design life cycle. Process Safety and Environmental Protection, 92(5), 412–422. doi:10.1016/j.psep.2014.05.006 
[ 31 ] Lindell MK, Perry RW, (1996) Addressing gaps in environmental emergency planning: hazardous materials releases during earthquakes. Journal for Environment Planning and Management, 1996;39:529 –543.
[ 32 ] Liu, Y., Fan, L., Li, X., Shi, S., & Lu, Y. (2020). Trends of hazardous material accidents (HMAs) during highway transportation from 2013 to 2018 in China. Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, 104150. doi:10.1016/j.jlp.2020.104150
[ 33 ] Moe, T. L. and Pathranarakul, P. (2006). "An integrated approach to natural disaster management: Public project management and its critical success factors", Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, Vol. 15 Issue: 3, pp.396-413, https://doi.org/10.1108/09653560610669882
[ 34 ] Mojtahedi, M. and LanOo, B. (2017). Critical attributes for proactive engagement of stakeholders in disaster risk management, International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, Volume 21, 2017, Pages 35-43, ISSN 2212-4209, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2016.10.017.
[ 35 ] Othman SitiHajar and Beydoun Ghassan, (2013) Model-driven disaster management, Information & Management 50 (2013) 218–228, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.im.2013.04.002
[ 36 ] Patterson, M. W., & Hoalst-Pullen, N. (2011). Dynamic equifinality: The case of south-central Chile’s evolving forest landscape. Applied Geography, 31(2), 641–649. doi:10.1016/j.apgeog.2010.12.004 
[ 37 ] Ramabrahmam, B. V., Sreenivasulu, B., &Mallikarjunan, M. M. (1996). Model on-site emergency plan. Case study: Toxic gas release from an ammonia storage terminal. Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, 9(4), 259–265.https://doi.org/10.1016/0950-4230(96)00016-2
[ 38 ] Singh, S. K. (2017). Road Traffic Accidents in India: Issues and Challenges. Transportation Research Procedia, 25, 4708–4719. doi:10.1016/j.trpro.2017.05.484 
[ 39 ] Suruda, A., Wallace, D., Fatal work-related injuries in the U.S. chemical industry 1984–89, Int. Arch. Environ. Health 68 (1996) 425–429.
[ 40 ] Takase, I., Kono, K., Tamura, A., Nishio, H., Dote T., Suzuki K., Case report: Fatality due to acute fluoride poisoning in the workplace, Legal Med. 6 (2004) 197–200
[ 41 ] Tran P, Shaw R, Chantry G, Norton J, (2009); GIS and local knowledge in disaster management: a case study of flood risk mapping in Viet Nam; Disasters: 152-69. [Pub Med] https://peso.gov.in/PDF/AR_2018_19.pdf
[ 42 ] Varotsos, C. A., & Krapivin, V. F. (2020). A new model for the spread of COVID-19 and the improvement of safety. Safety Science, 132, 104962. doi:10.1016/j.ssci.2020.104962 
[ 43 ] Zhu, C., Zhu, J., Wang, L., &Mannan, M. S. (2017). Lessons learned from analyzing a VCE accident at a chemical plant. Journal of Loss Prevention in the Process Industries, 50, 397402. doi:10.1016/j.jlp.2017.11.004 
[ 44 ] Zimmerman, L. I., Lima, R., Pietrobon, R., & Marcozzi, D. (2008). The effects of seasonal variation on hazardous chemical releases. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 151(1), 232–238. doi:10.1016/j.jhazmat.2007.05.074.