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27 tonnes of rice spill onto T Karang road; Good Samaritans turn clean-up into 'carnival'

KUALA SELANGOR: There was no looting, nor was there indifference.
Instead, a heartwarming scene greeted passersby in Tanjong Karang here today where some 27 tonnes of rice had fallen from a lorry and spilled onto a 100 metre stretch of Jalan Tali Air 3.
Dozens of Good Samaritans had banded together to clean up the mess following the 10.30pm incident, when large rice bags being transported to Senai, Johor fell from the lorry, causing traffic at the single-lane road to come to a standstill.
Tanjong Karang Fire and Rescue Station chief Azmi Abbas said when firemen were dispatched to the scene to clear the road, it did not take long for tens of members of the public to join them in the effort.
"Firemen who responded to the case said that the situation was akin to a carnival, where scores of villagers from the area and road users spontaneously started giving each other a hand, scooping the rice and placing them in rice bags that were still intact.
"(The lorry driver said he) was transporting a total of 40 tonnes of rice from Sitiawan, Perak when the bags fell from the lorry, (possibly because of) the bumpy road there.
"He estimated that the spilled rice was about 27 tonnes," Azmi said.
He added that the public helped make the cleaning process much quicker, ensuring that a large portion of the rice was salvaged, while the rest was later sprayed off the road by the firemen.
Azmi said the operation by a team of eight firemen took about an hour, before the road was cleared for traffic.
Nevertheless, a massive traffic jam was triggered in the hours following the incident as grains completely covered the stretch of road. It is learnt that the stretch has two lanes for each way, but was turned into a single-lane road temporarily to make way for upgrading works.

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