Firefighter issues warning to stockpiling motorists as he shares harrowing photograph

A firefighter has issued a warning to people who are stockpiling petrol by sharing a harrowing photograph showing what can happen when you have a large amount of fuel in a car.

Retired London Fire Brigade Borough Commander Steve Dudeney shared a photograph on Twitter of a completely burnt and broken car and said the incident, which he attended 12 years ago, was caused by escaping petrol igniting.

He said:

It comes as people have been panic buying petrol as part of the supply chains crisis in which a shortage of some 100,000 HGV lorry drivers is slowing the movement of key goods. The government has urged people not to do so for fears it is exacerbating the issue and has said it will issue temporary visas to EU drivers to solve the issue but industry groups have said this may not be enough to curb the chaos.

But while the conversation up to now has focussed on how panic buying is further pressurising supply chains, Dudeney has warned that it is actually incredibly dangerous to have so much fuel in a vehicle with his image.

Speaking to HuffPost UK, Dudeney said that the petrol container “must have been damaged or improperly sealed”, as may happen with cans not designed for carrying the fuel.

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He added: “The vapour filled the car until it met a spark or other ignition source, most likely from the car’s electrics.”

Dudeney added that he did not know whether the man in the vehicle survived the incident:

If you needed another reason to not stockpile petrol, this is it.

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