Pattaya, the 16th of August 2010 [PDN]: At approximately 12:00am on Tuesday, Pattaya Fire Department were notified of an incident at the Bangjak Petrol Station on North Pattaya Road, Naklua. A team of Firemen and one engine from the Pattaya Fire Department were dispatched to the incident to render assistance.
On arrival, firefighters observed that one of the petrol stations dispensers, in the middle of the forecourt, had been pulled from its fixture, while the fuel lines had been severed. Merely 5-meters from the scene, a silver Honda City was parked with minor damage to the side of the vehicle, near the fuel cap.
Investigations revealed a small containment of leaked fuel on the concrete surrounding the dispenser, which had in turn been appropriately handled with chemical dispersants. Fuel lines running from the underground storage tanks and the dispensers hose had also been severed, however, safety systems in place on the device had averted further leakage of any fuel.
Investigations with Mr. Term Pholchalard , the driver of the offending vehicle, revealed that he had driven away from the pump thinking that the fuel dispensing had ceased. Further explaining that his daughter, sitting in the front passenger seat, had paid for the fuel and received her change leading him to believe that the transaction was complete.
Driving away while the dispenser was still connected to the vehicle, Mr. Pholchalard succeeded in pulling the entire dispenser unit from its fixture, severing the fuel line in the process. Allegedly, an electrical spark caused the fuel left in the lines to ignite, but the resultant fire was immediately extinguished by the fast acting attendant.
In another statement, Mr. Phichet Romyen , the forecourt attendant involved in the incident, explained that he had been in the process of filling Mr. Pholchalard’s vehicle when he began to drive away. He stated that he had exchanged the money for the sale prior to finishing the dispensing as Mr. Pholchalard had requested exactly Bt500 worth of fuel. Mr. Romyen revealed that Mr. Pholchalard’s car, still connected to the dispenser, pulled the unit from the ground starting a fire.
At present the situation is being dealt with between Mr. Pholchalard’s insurance company and the owners of the Bangjak Petrol Station, however, a report will be filed to the local police should the two parties not come to an agreement. Damage caused to the dispenser and accompanying attachments are estimated at approximately Bt200,000.
Fire response teams explained that all appropriate security measures and equipment were in place on the dispenser and that the fire was caused by an electrical short on the fuel remaining in the hose lines attached to the unit. Firefighters praised the fast actions of the service station attendants, who avoided what could have become a potentially devastating incident.