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Woman burns in 'petrol panic'

2012-03-30 15:09

THE COST OF FUEL: Vehicles queue at a petrol station in north London as motorists flocked to stock up ahead of a threatened strike by fuel tanker drivers.

LONDON - Britain's current fuel panic claimed its first casualty Friday when a woman suffered serious burns when petrol she had stored in her home under government advice ahead of a possible strike ignited.

Firefighters said the woman involved in the fuel incident in the north-eastern city of York suffered 40% burns to her body.

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said in a statement: "While decanting petrol from one container to another the petrol ignited and set fire to her clothing."


The blaze came two days after senior Cabinet member Francis Maude suggested that motorists "take the sensible precaution" of filling jerry cans and keeping them in the garage. The advice was later retraced after fire authorities denounced it as dangerous and motoring organisations said it would trigger panic buying. Which it did, big-time, of both jerry cans and fuel.

The crisis eased slightly on Friday when Unite, the union representing the tanker drivers, ruled out the threat of strikes over Easter when millions of British holidaymakers usually hit the roads.

Fuel retailers said fuel sales almost doubled on Thursday as drivers rushed to fill their vehicles.

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