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Substandard petrol stations pose a problem in Nghe An

Update: September, 19/2013 - 09:43
Four of the ten petrol kiosks in Dien Ngoc Commune's Lach Van harbour in the central province of Nghe An's Dien Chau District fail to meet State standards.— File Photo

NGHE AN (VNS)— Four of the ten petrol kiosks in Dien Ngoc Commune's Lach Van harbour in the central province of Nghe An's Dien Chau District fail to meet State standards, raising the risk of fire, said commune chairman Nguyen Van Dung.

Not only do the kiosks fail to comply with fire and environment regulations; they also do not offer customers a clear pricing system.

"They are small private kiosks with 3,000-5,000 litres of petrol and oil," said Dung, explaining that they were located in peoples' homes and used modified filling tools to measure petrol.

Local roads are so narrow that trucks containing petroleum cannot travel all the way to the kiosks, said Nguyen Van Khoa, a resident of Yen Thinh hamlet. Kiosk owners, as a result, often transport petrol to their tanks by motorbike or wagon – putting their lives and those of their neighbours at risk.

"Houses in this area are close to each other, so local residents suffer severe consequences if a fire occurs," he said.

Desipite this risk, the kiosks always have many customers. They not only sell petrol, but also loan ship owners cash before fishing trips, according to Dung.

He added that management of these kiosks was difficult because even when owners were warned that they were violating the law, they still continued to sell petroleum at night, when no one was keeping an eye on them.

Tran Kim Thanh, vice director of the province's Department of Industry and Trade, proposed the Ministry of Industry and Trade grant temporary business licences valid from one to two years to kiosks that satisfied fire regulations.

Dung said that creating a petroleum co-operative would ensure members followed regulations. Additionally, standard filling stations should be constructed in big harbours where many ships berth, he said.

Station blaze

A fire occurred in HCM City's Nguyen Huu Tri Street on Tuesday when a tanker was filling up at a Tran Quang Tuyen petrol station.

Even though the fire was extinguished after 15 minutes, the blaze burned down the station and the underground tanks ignited. The 58-year-old truck driver was seriously injured, but tried his best to put out the flames despite suffering severe burns.

Several fires have occurred at petrol stations since the beginning of this year, causing concern for nearby residents.

Last week, a fire broke out at a petrol station in Da Nang's Hai Chau District, destroying a two-storey house. In June, a huge fire at a petrol station in Ha Noi took some 1,000 firefighters about six hours to extinguish. A dozen people were hospitalised, including 11 firefighters. — VNS

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