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Motorists warned of danger of mobile phone use at petrol stations

The Energy Policy and Planning Office yesterday reiterated the danger of using mobile phones by motorists while getting their vehicles filling up tanks at petrol station.

mobile phones in garagesThe warning came as a video clip showing a motorcycle caught fire instantly as a mobile phone call rang while having his vehicle filled, was widely shared on the internet.

The incident happened at Thanapol petrol station located on Chiang Mai-Doi Saket road in Chiang Mai on March 14 at 5.35 pm, Thairath Online reported.

On the clip, the owner of the motorcycle is seen arriving to fill his tank but had left his hand-phone underneath his seat.

As the tank was being filled, a call came in on his phone and suddenly the fire was ignited.

Fortunately, the filling station’s well-trained employee managed to avoid a catastrophe. He kept his wits and rushed to retrieve a fire-extinguisher and prevented the flames from spreading.

The patrol station manager Ms Jamrak Guntawin later said the fire was found to be ignited by mobile phone call after the owner of the motorcycle took his vehicle to wash.

As he pulled out the seat, a mobile phone connected to a power bank was underneath. The phone caught fire by an incoming call while the phone was in the charging process.

In response to the clip, Channel 9 quoted director-general of the Energy Policy and Planning Office, also the spokesman for the Ministry of Energy, Mr Tawarat Sutabutra, as warning all Thai motorists to switch off their mobile phones when filling up with fuel or automotive gases.

This includes any device that could trigger a spark which will likely ignite the flammable fumes, he said.

The Ministry of Energy has made it mandatory for all petrol stations in the county to post signs that require all motorists to switch off their engines and under no circumstances smoke or use their mobile devices while filling up with fuel, he added.

Thai PBS

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