RICHMOND — A fuel delivery error late Thursday or early Friday put the fuel pumps at the Exit 43 Quik Stop out of commission until midafternoon Friday.

Both the gas and diesel pumps in front of the Irving-affiliated gas station, and the diesel pumps behind the convenience store were taped off with caution tape and unavailable to customers Friday morning as fuel was pumped out of the underground tanks. By midafternoon, workers were draining fuel from the hoses in the point-of-sale pumps; and by 3 p.m., the gasoline pumps were open again, but not the diesel pumps.

Station owner Gary Emmons spent the morning overseeing the removal of the fuel from the tanks and talking on the phone.

“Irving is issuing a statement,” he said.

Emmons was unavailable Friday afternoon for additional comment. Irving did not respond immediately to messages left at its offices in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on Friday.

Area residents spread the word Friday on social media, warning area drivers about the problem.

Even with the fuel mix-up, the busy gas station, which also has a convenience store and deli, remained open Friday, with cars and trucks stopping by in a steady flow. The station is on Route 197, just off Interstate 295 at Exit 43. As social media users noted, area residents often stop there for fuel before getting on the interstate.

“It’s been chaos this morning,” one clerk said between customers.

Rick Moody heard about the problem directly. The owner of Rick’s Towing in Richmond said he towed about six vehicles whose drivers had filled up with the wrong kind of fuel on Friday.

Gasoline engines will shut down when they are given diesel fuel, Moody said.

“The spark plugs won’t fire,” Moody said.

It wasn’t immediately clear how much fuel was sold or how many vehicles might have been affected.

 

Jessica Lowell — 621-5632
[email protected]
Twitter: @JLowellKJ

 


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