According to sources, the tanker was transporting gas from Sambalpur to Cuttack when the mishap took place.
On being informed, police team from Handapa and Kishorenagar along with fire personnel from Bamur, Angul, Rairakhol and Athmallick rushed to the spot. To control the spread of the gas, the fire personnel initially sprayed water on the tanker. The highway was sealed and power connection to the area immediately cut off. As an added precaution, people of nearby five villages were cautioned against lighting fires.
Soon, experts from Jharsuguda and Balasore were called in to deal with the situation, which had turned scary due to continuous leakage of gas. Efforts are on to transfer the gas to another empty tanker.
The mishap had stalled vehicular traffic for over five hours, the sources added.