VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - News 3 is looking into reports on social media about the wrong type of fuel being dispensed out of retail pumps at two gas stations in Virginia Beach.
Here's what we know:
The Blackwater Trading Post, a convenience store in Pungo, posted the following statement on Facebook Tuesday:
This weekend a World Fuels delivery driver put the wrong fuel in the diesel tank. Upon becoming made aware of the issue, we immediately shut down ALL tanks. We contacted our service company and the fuel company. Our service company has come out and confirmed that the wrong fuel was placed in the diesel tank.
We are very upset about this situation that it has caused our customers! This situation was not caused or the fault of any employee or the store, it was the delivery driver’s fault. World Fuels is now handling the situation directly. For those that were affected, you can contact us at 757-204-4806 and we can provide you with the contact at World Fuels. You will be required to provide World Fuels with your name, the make and model of the vehicle, and proof of purchase (which can be a receipt with the date/time) or a charge on your credit card or bank account from the store. Again we feel horrible about what has happened and are we are here to help! Thank you!
Blackwater Trading Post Store Manager Jamie Hackett said the fuel supplier, World Fuels, put gas into diesel pumps last Friday. When they found out on Sunday, they shut all pumps down and emptied them.
“We were shocked; we were very shocked,” Hackett said. “We’ve been with them for many years. They’ve always dumped our fuel for us and we’ve never had the issue.”
By Wednesday, the family-owned gas station was back up and running.
So far, they say only about a dozen drivers have been impacted and World Fuels is working with them to address the problem.
If people have been affected, call the local World Fuels representative at 757-364-4849.
“On behalf of the owners and ourselves, we do apologize to everyone,” Hackett said. “We are helping the customers out.”
We've also reached out to World Fuel Services, the owner of PAPCO, for comment.
Some reports have indicated that the incorrect fuel was dispensed at the Hilltop BP station on Laskin Road. We reached out to the gas station for clarification from the owner, but an employee who answered the phone said they were told not to give out the owner's contact information.
Gregory Evans of Hampton said he pumped regular gas, or so he thinks, into his car at the Hilltop BP on Laskin Road Tuesday morning.
After social media reports surfaced that the gas station’s fuel supplier mistakenly filled diesel into the gas pumps, he’s now wondering about his own car.
“I worry if it’s damaged, or it’s going to be damaged,” Evans said. “Are they going to fix it? I’m not too sure.”
News 3 spoke with the clerk at the Hilltop BP station and were told to call the owners, Tidewater Convenience. So far they haven't responded to our calls.
Other drivers are stunned, wondering how this could have happened.
“I would be pretty upset,” said Robert Zdyb of Virginia Beach.
Driver Brittany Bailey said the news was concerning.
“I’ve never heard of something like that happening, but I’ve always thought about it happening before, and I feel like it’s something that can happen anywhere,” said the Virginia Beach native.
A spokesperson for Virginia Beach City Public Schools (VBCPS) said BP alerted the school district of the error Tuesday morning. News 3 has learned that VBCPS has its own distribution system, but there are a couple outlying routes where school bus drivers fill up at retail gas stations.
As of Tuesday morning, VBCPS said they're aware of two buses that were affected. The error didn't affect operations or bus runs on Tuesday, and the school district doesn't anticipate it will affect anything Wednesday morning.
A spokesperson for BP said Wednesday, it encourages any impacted customers to reach out to Tidewater Convenience as they do not own or operate the site.
News 3 reached out to Tidewater Convenience. The company's president and owner of the Hilltop BP, Charles Weaver, responded to our inquires.
Weaver confirmed that the wrong gas was delivered last Thursday night. The delivery fuel company is Petroleum Carriers, LLC, an independent petroleum carrier.
He said they realized the mix-up Sunday night with the premium gas and fixed it. On Tuesday morning, they realized there was also a mix-up with the diesel and shut down the pumps and fixed it that day.
30 to 35 people have been affected so far, according to him, and they're reaching out to every customer. The company is paying for a rental car for one driver, and Weaver is lending his personal truck to another.
This incident only happened at the Hilltop BP location on Laskin Road. The company is also helping customers file insurance claims through Petroleum Carriers, LLC.
"My wife and I have owned the station for 25 years – It’s been in business for 30 years. We are lifelong Virginia Beach residents and we own 15 locations in the area, and we are going to make sure that everyone is 100% taken care of," Weaver said. "It’s a major inconvenience for everybody involved, but the carrier driver accidentally made a mistake and put some premium gas in the diesel tanks and diesel in the premium tanks. But at the end of the day, I’m going to take care of my customers first and foremost."
If you do happen to pump the wrong gas in your car, mechanics say take it to a repair shop to have the tank emptied before it causes the car to break down.