Goa airport runway closed for two hours after fuel spill

Panaji, Oct 24 (IANS) The Goa airport was closed for over two hours late Saturday night after a tanker half-full with aviation turbine fuel overturned on the runway, officials said Sunday. A probe has been ordered.

The tanker, operated by the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) and carrying 6,000 litres of the highly combustible fuel, was heading towards civil terminal for refuelling parked aircraft, according to a statement by the Indian Navy, which operates the airport.

According to the statement, naval authorities reached the scene of accident within a few seconds, rescued the driver to safety and took action to prevent the leaking fuel from catching fire.

‘The runway was closed immediately and a NOTAM (Notice to Airmen) issued,’ the statement said, adding that the runway was unusable for nearly two hours.

‘We had to ensure that the surface was not slippery, which could cause the aircrafts to skid,’ the navy said, adding that the tanker was later lifted away with the help of a crane.

‘The runway was restored and declared fit by 2300 hrs and normal operations were resumed,’ a navy spokesperson said.

Goa’s only airport at Dabolim is a part of the INS Hansa naval base and is out of bounds for civilian traffic several hours of the day and night.

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