New York in free-fuel foul-up
DESPERATE FOR FUEL: Motorists in need of petrol are forced to push their cars to petrol stations hoping to get their tanks some fuel.
NEW YORK - Tankers loaded with free petrol were meant to bring relief to desperate New Yorkers on November 3 201 but at one emergency station besieged by vehicle owners the promised fuel never arrived.
That meant a cruelly long wait for hundreds of people lucky enough to still have a vehicl and people queuing on foot with jerry cans at a National Guard armoury in the Bronx, New York.
The crowd waited for hours at one of five impromptu filling stations that city officials promoted as a quick solution to the mounting fuel crisis left by superstorm Sandy. Gary Vicuna, at the head of the line, said: "I saw it on the Bronx (TV) channel and I came here as soon as I could. I arrived at about 10am.”
There were about 200 other pedestrians in line for their promised free fuel at the cavernous brick armoury. The queue for cars was even longer, according to Lieutenant Colonel James Freehart, who was with the National Guard team meant to distribute the free fuel.
Several soldiers guarded the entrance to the building and police cars blocked the road. There were fights and flaring tempers at city fuel stations, so the authorities took no chances during the handout. Except that the handout never came.
Finally, the National Guard and police began telling people to leave. The truck never showed up and nobody seemed to know why.
Jamie Williams, another desperate pedestrian said: "It is unacceptable. We stand in line for hours. I am frozen and all of a sudden all these police cars arrive, as if they wanted to prevent a riot. Who can we blame? Not the police officers."
Chris Edmin told a government representative: "It's not just that we are not getting any petrol, but the way we were dismissed. It is a lack of concern for the community, the final straw."
Watch the video about the fuel crisis: