Cab driver doused with gasoline at broken pump

Crews cleaning up the gasoline. (Courtesy: Tamas Marczis)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — An Austin Cab Company driver said he found out the hard way what happens when a gas pump is not in working order. Tamas Marczis was filling up his SUV taxi at the Shell station at 2204 Airport Boulevard when he said the hose sprayed gasoline.

Gasoline sprayed out of this hose.
Gasoline sprayed out of this hose.

An Austin Fire Department report from March 10 said nearly two gallons of gasoline spilled out and a picture taken by Marczis appears to show a hole or gash in the black hose. He said he ran inside the station to tell the attendant to shut off the pump.

“I panicked for a second, then I ran away, then I looked back to see what happened,” said Marczis who said he is still suffering the after effects of gasoline in his eyes and the fumes in his lungs. Being a taxi driver, he also lost valuable business because the doors to his SUV were left open gas sprayed inside.

“I lost the best week of my year during South By Southwest when I should be busy non-stop,” he lamented. “The whole car smelled like a gas tank.”

An employee at the station said the hose was replaced. A search of Department of Agriculture records show the store recently received an inspection November 2014 without any violations.

Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller has asked for more money to pay for more inspectors to examine gas-pumps and other industries he believes are under-inspected. The Texas House of Representatives has granted Miller his request of 31 additional inspectors in their budget proposal.

A spokesperson for TDA said gas stations with licensed technicians on site are typically inspected every six years while those without technicians usually receive inspections every two years. Miller has said inspections need to happen more frequently.

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