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Photographs showing long queues forming outside petrol stations have been shared online, as well as claims that people are actually filling up plastic bags with petrol.
And this is how someone thinks they should get gas... #gasshortage pic.twitter.com/XT7APSI9rM
- Tyler in Texas (@ty_p3) May 12, 2021
Although the viral photo above has been proven to be from 2019, it hasn't stopped the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission from issuing a warning to anyone thinking of trying out such a storage system.
Posting a thread on Twitter, the government agency warned:
Do not fill plastic bags with gasoline.
- US Consumer Product Safety Commission (@USCPSC) May 12, 2021
It followed up by adding: "Use only containers approved for fuel.
"Follow the gas canister manufacturer instructions for storing and transporting gasoline.
"When using a gas canister, never pour gasoline over or near an open flame.
"Flame jetting is a sudden and possibly violent flash fire that can occur when pouring flammable liquids from a container over an exposed flame or other ignition source.
"NEVER pour flammable liquids from a container over an exposed flame.
"We know this sounds simple, but when people get desperate they stop thinking clearly. They take risks that can have deadly consequences. If you know someone who is thinking about bringing a container not meant for fuel to get gas, please let them know it's dangerous.
"Sometimes when we put out a safety message like this people use it as a way to look down on others. We ask that instead you use this as an opportunity to reflect on safety in your own life."
Colonial Pipeline delivers around 45 percent of the petrol used on the East Coast of the US, and was forced to stop operations last week after a ransomware attack.
The attack has meant that fuel prices have soared, with American Automobile Association saying they hit an average price of $3.008 (£2.14) per gallon today, the highest since October 2014.
US Transport Secretary Pete Buttigieg has urged people not to panic buy or hoard fuel.
He said: "This is a time to be sensible and to be safe, of course we understand the concern in areas where people are encountering temporary supply disruptions.
"But hoarding does not make things better, and under no circumstances should gasoline ever be put into anything but a vehicle directly or an approved container, and that of course remains true no matter what else is going on."
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