x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Diesel blaze had the potential to be much worse

Investigating the causes of Friday's fire in Mussaffah will help prevent a worse tragedy, a reader says. Other readers call for a law change after the road-rage video incident, for a Dubai saloon to earn its reputation and for scrutiny of those responsible for the Bihar school poisoning.

A worker looks on as thick black smoke rises from a diesel tanker truck which caught fire in the midday heat near the ICAD Residential City in Mussaffah. Two other tankers also caught fire in the incident. Silvia Razgova / The National.
A worker looks on as thick black smoke rises from a diesel tanker truck which caught fire in the midday heat near the ICAD Residential City in Mussaffah. Two other tankers also caught fire in the incident. Silvia Razgova / The National.

Causes of diesel blaze could help prevent a repeat

Diesel fuel does not ignite easily (Diesel tanker explosion in Mussafah leaves workers stranded. July 20).

Compared to more volatile, highly flammable fuels like petrol, it needs very high temperatures and pressure.

The flash point of diesel, when it starts vaporising, is more than 60°C, while auto-ignition occurs closer to 200°C.

Diesel can ignite without a spark (unlike petrol engines, diesel engines have no spark plugs), but that occurs only with air compressed to attain those very high temperatures in the combustion chamber.

What probably happened here is that exposure to heat caused temperature and pressure to build up inside the tank, which appears not to have a pressure relief valve or a vent to release pressure into the atmosphere. Or it could have been blocked.

If no relief mechanism existed, this would be a serious safety hazard. All storage tanks should have a relief valve or properly-shaped vent fitted.

Shading is evidently not sufficient.

The good news this time was there was no loss of life.

Bassem P Fakhry, Dubai

Road rage video law must change

The law has to be amended right away to help witnesses come forward with evidence that will in most cases incriminate the subject at fault, regardless of anyone's reputation. (Road rage YouTube footage inadmissable in UAE court, says lawyer. July 18)

The current law encourages witness to not come forward for fear of persecution, especially after this incident.

As a society, what do we want from our witnesses? To help us? Or to walk away with essential evidence?

Currently it's safer for a witness to keep quiet.

Mohammed H AlHeraiz, Dubai

The patience of the man who was being hit is amazing.

This guy reacted very calmly in a terrible situation.

I can only hope he can put this mess behind him.

Shawn Swart, Dubai

Let Facelook earn its reputation

The company in your story should re-design its logo. (Dubai hairdressing salon faces Facebook wrath over similar name. July 15)

No matter how small or big the business is, they should try to be unique in the region and not take bits and pieces of well-known brands and then get free marketing in the newspaper.

The best manner would be to redesign the logo and let people talk about the saloon's excellent service rather than creating unwanted publicity to gain popularity.

Name withheld by request

Bihar poisoning is a call for action

The deaths of 23 children in a school in the Indian state of Bihar by eating poisoned food is extremely shocking and saddening. (Indian children 'could have been poisoned intentionally', official says. July 19)

The poor parents of these children had never thought that the same school would become their graveyard where they had sent their loved ones to get some education.

Whether these tragic deaths happened due to negligence or whether it was a result of deliberate attempt to cause the deaths, those responsible should be apprehended and dealt with very strictly.

The midday meal scheme is the biggest scheme of its kind in the world.

It feeds 120 million children across the country.

India has a high percentage of malnourished children and a low literacy rate.

So the scheme - if well implemented - would go a long way in dealing with these two issues.

At the same time, the government would have to implement the programme with the utmost sense of care and ensure that hygiene levels and the safety of the children are not compromised at all.

Muneer Ahmad, Abu Dhabi

Abandoned carts are dangerous

In my neighbourhood, near Mushrif Mall in Abu Dhabi, there are a dozen or more green-and-yellow Lulu grocery carts scattered around the roadsides.

These are somewhat unsightly but the real problem, I fear, is that they are dangerous.

Some are at the edge of the roadway, and others could easily be pushed onto the road by passers-by.

Obviously people are not supposed to take the carts off the property of the mall itself, but plainly people do so.

The grocery should find a way to discourage this practice, and also should send somebody around the neighbourhood to collect all their errant carts.

Elizabete Baums, Abu Dhabi