Panaji: A tanker carrying 6000 litres of highly inflammable aviation turbine fuel turned turtle on the Goa airport runway, forcing its partial closure and affecting operations.
The runway was shutdown for two and half hours last night after the Indian Oil Corporation`s tanker toppled on the runway at 2120 hrs spilling the fuel. "The tanker was heading towards civil terminal to refuel the parked aircraft," an Indian Navy spokesman.
Goa airport is managed by Indian Navy, which operates its INS Hansa base from here.
The spokesman said the incident left the wrecked tanker and thousands of litres of highly inflammable fuel on the runway making it unsuitable for operations.
Naval personnel evacuated the tanker driver to safety and took steps to prevent the leaking fuel from catching fire.
The runway was closed immediately. The tanker was lifted with the help of a naval crane and the fuel was removed from the runway surface, officials said.
The runway is operational now, however with a reduced length, sources said adding, "we are using only 5,700 ft of the 8,000 ft runway".
However, due to the reduced runway length, flights have been asked to lessen the load of passengers and baggage and the restrictions are likely to continue for next three days.
A part of the runway surface was damaged due to the over turning of the dispenser and it is being repaired, sources said.
"The leaked fuel is likely to cause damage to runway surface and naval authorities are investigating the implications," the spokesman said.