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UK Petrol Panic Leaves Ambulances Dry and Mum Burned

Triggered by Dumb Politician

A NATIONWIDE BINGE OF GASOLINE AND DIESEL fuel panic-buying has stripped Great Britain's gas stations of their supplies and caused some near-deadly results.  The phony crisis began earlier this week when it was learned that the tanker truck drivers are negotiating a new union contract and threatened a walkout if a deal wasn't struck before long, but no date was mentioned.

That was all that Cabinet Minister Francis Maude needed to spring into action and do what politicians do best…. pass out faulty information.  He went on tv and told the public at large to fill their cars' gas tanks and "fill up a couple of jerry-cans to keep in the garage" despite this being strictly against the fire code. This led to a national run on the filling stations who promptly ran out of supplies and then began limiting purchases to £50 at a time, even though there is no fuel shortage. 

Sky News

The Evening Herald reports:

A SENIOR British cabinet minister who urged drivers to stock fuel in jerry cans faced calls to resign last night after a mother-of-two set herself alight as she decanted petrol in her kitchen.

Diane Hill (46) of York, England, suffered 40% burns when she apparently tried to pour petrol from a can into a jug to refuel her daughter's car.  Ms Hill's gas cooker was on and the petrol caught fire.

The mass panic-buying of petrol instigated by the government was continuing today — despite no strike having been called by tanker drivers.

Now come reports that ambulances and police cars are unable to get refueled due to the arbitrary restrictions and unexpected closing of fueling stations.  Even though they are supposed to have priority fueling and no limit on fill-ups, they are reporting from several areas that they are being forced to wait in lengthy lines and limited to the £50 limit (which buys roughly 8 gallons).

Chris Hunt, Director General of the UK Petroleum Industry Association, described the situation as "self-inflicted insanity".

Sky News produced this informative and entertaining video report capturing the snowball fight between three parties (politicians, petroleum retailers, and tanker drivers) and pleadings to puh-leez let the ambos fill up:


Get your popcorn ready and stay tuned.  More talks begin on Monday.

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Comments - Add Yours

  • Jason Low

    At $1.29 a liter (roughly $4.92 US/gal) in western Canada, it costs me around $69 to fill my Subaru car. In the UK it would cost about 75 pounds.. and they’re limiting them to 50?

    I have to agree though, that politician needs to be sacked.

  • Dalmatian90

    It has, and continues, to boggle my mind that public safety agencies depend on commercial stations — often without generators for power outages, and subject to panic buying like this.

    We don’t have any gas-powered vehicles at the firehouse anymore, and we got rid of the gasoline underground storage tank with the last of them.  We also switched to using the town diesel tank (~10,000 gallon capacity) when our own diesel UST was due for replacing.  No police cruisers, and almost if not all of the town’s other trucks and buses are diesel; and I think one of the highway crew pickups has a gas tank & pump in the bed to use to fuel small equipment.  Keep them full, we’re in good shape for storms and what may come.  The smaller town north of me likewise fuels at their town garage, and 20+ years ago they rigged up a harness to run the fuel pumps from their Rescue’s generator when the power was out.

    Back in Irene this past summer there were fairly large towns in Central Connecticut left scrambling after several days without power for fuel to keep their cruisers on the road — no town gas tanks, no generators for gas stations.  They ended up having to go to State DOT garages & State Police barracks to meet such a basic, basic need for public safety services.

    I just don’t understand that mindset that doesn’t take preparedness seriously.