Sparks from static electricity may have ignited fumes

Static electricity or frequency from the mobile phone might have caused the explosion at a petrol station, causing a woman to suffer severe burns.


Petrol Dealers Association Malay­sia president Datuk Hashim Othman said static electricity could cause sparks to occur and this could have led to a fire or explosion due to the fumes in the air.

“The same goes for a running car engine which might also emit sparks. This is why drivers should turn off their engines when refuelling, and smoking or lighting a fire is definitely a big no in the premises.

“We have been educating the public about the fire hazards but somehow, this is still happening,” he said.

Hashim said notices of things not to be done at petrol stations were put up beside or on every petrol dispensing machine but some people took no heed.

He also advised people to keep their car doors closed when fuelling to prevent the fumes from getting into the car.

Hashim said drivers should also make it a habit to remove their keys from the car ignition when they stepped out of the car.

When asked when would be the right time to use a mobile phone after fuelling due to the tendency of fumes escaping into the car, he said that the fumes would usually be gone when the car started moving.

“If you want to answer a call or reply a messages, do it outside the petrol station,” he said, adding that children should also be taught in school about the hazards at a petrol station so that they could keep an eye on their parents.

On Friday, a seven-year-old boy sustained severe burns on his face when he played with a lighter in the car while his mother was refuelling at a petrol station in Kelantan.

The Proton Wira burst into flames from within but his mother managed to pull him out of the car to safety.