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Tests in HCM City prove petrol was watered down

Update: February, 04/2012 - 10:10

HA NOI — Tests on two petrol samples from HCM City revealed they contained water, according to the Department for Goods Quality Management.

A sample of petrol from Bach Dang petrol station in Binh Thanh District had 172mg of water per kilogram. Another sample from a petrol station in Thu Duc District had 151mg/kg.

Watered down petrol can make a motor hard to start, according to the web site


Three more motorbikes go up in flames

CAN THO — Three motorbikes went up in flames while being transported on a police truck yesterday morning in Phong Dien District, Can Tho City.

Owners of the motorbikes were stopped for allegedly speeding and not possessing driving licences.

The police temporarily seized their motorbikes and was taking them to a police store when they burst into flames.

The fire destroyed about 40 per cent of the police vehicle.

Phong Dien Police are carrying out an investigation into the cause of the fire. — VNS

Tran Quoc Tuan, director of the standards department, said there were no specific regulations covering the addition of water to petrol.

However, he said mixing any substances with it violated quality standards.

The two samples tested contained no acetone or methanol. These two substances, which are half the price of regular fuel, are often mixed with petrol to earn more profit.

But as they erode metal in vehicle engines and can trigger fires, they were key suspects blamed for sudden fires in cars and motorbikes recently.

The cheap additives can also create extra fumes to pollute the environment.

Tuan suggested stern measures be taken to prevent illegal mixes of petrol.

He said officials should strengthen their inspections and hold unexpected checks to catch rogues.

Tuan said petrol stations should be held responsible for checking the seal of petrol tankers to see if they had been tampered with or any impurities added.

He also said that "black boxes" should be installed in all petrol tankers to keep track of their itineraries.

Meanwhile, in northern Quang Ninh Province, management offices have set up hotlines to try and track down violators.

Local residents can report their suspicions to the provincial Department for Standards, Metrology and Quality by phoning 0912773799, 033.703799 or 0904180189.

The Science and Technology Ministry has also told its local departments to set up hotlines to receive complaints about petrol quality.

After many sudden car and motorbike fires last year, the Department for Goods Quality Management checked 27 petrol samples from Ha Noi, HCM City, Da Nang City, Bac Ninh and Bac Giang provinces.

Two samples were found to have a high amount of methanol, and 18 had high amounts of octane, which can also be harmful to engines.

The petrol enterprises were suspended or fined VND10-30 million (US$475-1,420), said Tuan. — VNS

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