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Woman burnt while handling fuel amid U.K. ‘petrol row’

By Agence France-Presse
Friday, March 30, 2012 7:19 EDT
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Gas pump photo via AFP
 
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A woman suffered severe burns after accidentally setting herself on fire as she decanted petrol in her home, firefighters said Friday, days after the government advised motorists to stockpile petrol in case of a strike.

The woman, from York, was pouring petrol from one container to another when it ignited and set fire to her clothing, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said.

She was taken to hospital with 40 percent burns following the incident which happened as the woman was using her cooker.

The incident comes as the union representing fuel tanker drivers ruled out the threat of strikes over Easter and said it wanted to try to resolve the dispute.

Peter Hudson, a spokesman for North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, warned the public to take “extreme care” when handling petrol and urged people not to store it in the home following the fire in York.

“In domestic situations fuel containers must not be stored in living accommodation such as kitchens, living rooms and bedrooms or under staircases,” he said.

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude on Wednesday suggested motorists should take the “sensible precaution” of filling up jerrycans amid a threat of industrial action by tanker drivers.

However, the government later retracted the advice which was denounced by firefighters as dangerous, while motoring organisations said it would trigger panic buying.

Queues could be seen at petrol stations across the country this week as drivers rushed to the pumps, fearing a strike over the Easter period.

The Automobile Association (AA) said sales increased by 81 percent Thursday and diesel by 43 percent, bringing in more than £32 million in extra fuel excise duty. Sales of jerrrycans were up by more than 500 percent.

Independent retailers’ body RMI Petrol told the BBC that the increase in demand on Thursday was 172 percent for petrol and 77 percent for diesel.

AA president Edmund King, urging drivers not to rush to the pumps, said: “There is no fuel tankerstrike and therefore if drivers followed normal fuel buying patterns there would be no fuel shortage whatsoever.”

Talks aimed at resolving the dispute about pay and conditions are likely to take place after Monday, the conciliation service Acas said.

Unite, which represents around 2,000 tanker drivers, said industrial action could still go ahead if talks fail.

Unite assistant general secretary Diana Holland said: ?We will not be calling Easter strike action as we focus on substantive talks through Acas. We do still retain the right to call strike action for after Easter should those talks breakdown.”

A woman suffered severe burns after accidentally setting herself on fire as she decanted petrol in her home, firefighters said Friday, days after the government advised motorists to stockpile petrol in case of a strike.

The woman, from York, was pouring petrol from one container to another when it ignited and set fire to her clothing, North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service said.

She was taken to hospital with 40 percent burns following the incident which happened as the woman was using her cooker.

The incident comes as the union representing fuel tanker drivers ruled out the threat of strikes over Easter and said it wanted to try to resolve the dispute.

Peter Hudson, a spokesman for North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service, warned the public to take “extreme care” when handling petrol and urged people not to store it in the home following the fire in York.

“In domestic situations fuel containers must not be stored in living accommodation such as kitchens, living rooms and bedrooms or under staircases,” he said.

Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude on Wednesday suggested motorists should take the “sensible precaution” of filling up jerrycans amid a threat of industrial action by tanker drivers.

However, the government later retracted the advice which was denounced by firefighters as dangerous, while motoring organisations said it would trigger panic buying.

Queues could be seen at petrol stations across the country this week as drivers rushed to the pumps, fearing a strike over the Easter period.

The Automobile Association (AA) said sales increased by 81 percent Thursday and diesel by 43 percent, bringing in more than £32 million in extra fuel excise duty. Sales of jerrrycans were up by more than 500 percent.

Independent retailers’ body RMI Petrol told the BBC that the increase in demand on Thursday was 172 percent for petrol and 77 percent for diesel.

AA president Edmund King, urging drivers not to rush to the pumps, said: “There is no fuel tankerstrike and therefore if drivers followed normal fuel buying patterns there would be no fuel shortage whatsoever.”

Talks aimed at resolving the dispute about pay and conditions are likely to take place after Monday, the conciliation service Acas said.

Unite, which represents around 2,000 tanker drivers, said industrial action could still go ahead if talks fail.

Unite assistant general secretary Diana Holland said: ?We will not be calling Easter strike action as we focus on substantive talks through Acas. We do still retain the right to call strike action for after Easter should those talks breakdown.”

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
AFP journalists cover wars, conflicts, politics, science, health, the environment, technology, fashion, entertainment, the offbeat, sports and a whole lot more in text, photographs, video, graphics and online.
 
 
 
 
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