A TANKER which was carrying thousands of litres of gas sparked a major chemical alert.
The heavy goods vehicle was being driven along the A588 Head Dyke Lane in Pilling close to Midwood Caravan Park yesterday when it went into a ditch.
The driver managed to scramble out of the cab to safety, but an emergency exclusion zone was set up after it emerged the stricken tanker was carrying 20,000 litres of liquid petroleum gas, (LPG)
Fire crews and staff from the Environment Agency checked for leaks to try to safeguard the 200m exclusion zone from the risk of an explosion.
Baz Scott, a Preesall resident, said: “I heard all the sirens, it’s not unusual round here but there were lots of them so realised it was large incident.
“There was an exclusion zone put in place but I could see the police cars and fire engines and the tanker behind them in the ditch.
“It’s lucky it wasn’t punctured when it crashed.
“It is worrying to think what could have happened as 20,000 litres of gas would create a considerable bomb.”
Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service confirmed it received a call from the panicked driver at 7.39am when he told them he had gone into the ditch.
Head Dyke Lane and Green Dick Lane were closed as the emergency services worked to recover the vehicle safely.
A fire service spokesman said: “A gas monitor was brought in to check for leaks and that helped firefighters decide what the next steps were to recover the vehicle.
“The driver told us there were no leaks and the electrics were isolated but fire crews sprayed water on to the vehicle as a precaution.
“It was recovered as soon as it is safe to do so.”