Broken valve at Maverik fuel station leads to gas leak

ST. GEORGE — A customer fueling up his vehicle at a Maverik – Adventure’s First Stop – convenience store at 690 S. River Road got a shocking surprise Friday morning when the breakaway valve, which is designed to break off should a customer drive away with the pump in their vehicle, broke all by itself, spewing gasoline and drawing the attention of the St. George Fire Department.

A gasoline spill at the Maverik located at 690 S. River Road shut down the pumps and brought out the fire department, St. George, Utah, Aug 19, 2016 | Photo by Don Gilman, St. George News
A gasoline spill at the Maverik – Advernture’s First Stop – convenience store located at 690 S. River Road shut down the pumps and brought out the fire department, St. George, Utah, Aug 19, 2016 | Photo by Don Gilman, St. George News

“A gentleman was starting to fuel his vehicle,” St. George Fire Department Chief Robert Stoker said. “Before he put it in, the breakaway connection actually came apart.”

The management team at the Maverik was swift and decisive in their actions, Stoker said. They immediately shut off the pumps and raced to block the flow of petrol from reaching the storm drain. Without their quick-thinking actions, he said, the situation would have become much more serious.

They did an excellent job with their spill kit. Management came out … and diked the area so it didn’t get into any of the storm drains, covered what they could with what absorbent they had,” Stoker said.

Fire personnel arrived on scene and used oil absorbent to further mop up the spilled fuel. Firefighters were on scene for approximately 40 minutes cleaning up the mess.

The smell of gasoline was pervasive at the scene.

Stoker said the initial calls they received reported a spill of 50 gallons, but in reality it was only 5-10 gallons that spewed from the pump. Often that is the case in spills such as this; it looks worse than it is.

It is not uncommon to respond to calls such as this, Stoker said, except that in most cases the driver has pulled away from the pump with the nozzle still inside the car.

“We get these quite regularly,” he said. “They’ll fuel their vehicles, get back in their vehicles while they’re fueling and for whatever reason or another, they’ll drive off and actually pull that (breakaway valve) out. Generally the pumps will shut down so we don’t have a large spill.”

The Utah Department of Transportation also sent an incident management vehicle to assist with the spill.

This report is based on preliminary information provided by emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

Email: dgilman@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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6 Comments

  • SteveSGU August 19, 2016 at 4:56 pm

    Petrol??

  • .... August 20, 2016 at 7:26 am

    This could of been a tragic incident but the personnel of the local business involved reacted quickly and in a very professional manner keeping the situation under control. job well done. Hip Hip Hooray ! Praise the Lord

    • Kristi August 21, 2016 at 1:31 am

      …. Did I miss something in the article I just read? Or do you just like rewriting it cuz you think it sounds better coming from yourself? If you’re going to leave a comment then leave one, but you don’t have to write word for word what we all just read…

      …. And btw I agree with on the job well done!!! Atleast they didn’t sit around like little girls screaming “OMG what shall we do?” So yes Maverick employees you deserve a pat on the back…

      • 42214 August 21, 2016 at 10:09 pm

        Very sexist and hateful comment.

        • .... August 22, 2016 at 4:58 pm

          422..it’s okay you gotta consider the source. It’s nothing from nothing

  • .... August 21, 2016 at 9:38 pm

    find inner peace and search your soul because you seem distraught with anger and no sense of purpose…God bless you !

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