Fire Sparked by Static Kills Gas Pumper in Pennsylvania

March 11, 2010

Authorities in Pennsylvania say a gas station patron died when static electricity ignited a fire as he filled up his tank.

Authorities say 19-year-old L. David Byers of central Pennsylvania died early Friday at the gas station in Camp Hill, The Patriot-News reports.

A gas station equipment expert says the only other fatality from a static-generated fire was in Oklahoma more than a decade ago.

Petroleum Equipment Institute Executive Vice President Robert Renkes says such fires require a pump without a vapor recovery device and a motorist who generates static electricity during fueling.

Renkes says static is usually discharged safely several ways before a motorist begins fueling up.

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