Sunday, August 19, 2012

Filling garbage bags with gasoline - what could go wrong?


Canadian cross-border shopper filling garbage bags with gas.
I worry sometimes that my blog posts are too critical of Honduras, especially given how meagre my understanding of what's going on, and why.
But things do leap out at you. Last month, we were at a great wedding in a nearby town. As we came back to our hotel after a wander through the relative urbanity of Santa Rosa de Copan, we smelled gas. The gas station across the street was getting a shipment for its underground tanks. The gasoline came in a couple of plastic totes in the back of a pickup truck. An open trough - it looked like a section of eavestroughing - was carrying a little river of gas from the truck to the pipe leading to the tank.
Service station gas delivery, Honduran-style
What could possibly go wrong? Sure, a half-ton carrying enough gas to generate a massive fireball in the event of a fender bender is worrying. And an open stream of gas in a busy parking lot might seem risky. But they had signs. (The same parking lot, I note, where a driver cut the corner and ran over the side of my foot with no apparent concern.)
So I was pleased to see this story on the Times Colonist website, about a British Columbia driver spotted saving money on gas in Bellingham. His strategy included filling garbage bags with gas for the trip home. (I would pay money to watch someone try and fill a car gas tank using a garbage bag.)
I liked the quote from Sgt. Mark Dennis of the Washington State Patrol: "In a bag like that, it's probably not a safe idea."
But mostly I liked the reminder that Honduras has no monopoly on odd behaviour.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'd bet $100 there was actually a jerry can in that bag. It doesn't look like the bag is filling with liquid at all.

paul said...

Anon:
Interesting. Take a look at the video that's with the story I linked to on the Times Colonist site and see what you think.

Anonymous said...

Ha, I missed the link in the story. Guess I'd be $100 poorer...

Ed Seedhouse said...

Liquid gasoline actually will not burn in response to flame. So long as it doesn't evaporate it is perfectly safe to toss a match into it. That's whey they have injectors for your car, to turn the liquid gasoline into a gaseous mixture of air and gasoline.

Of course liquid gasoline evaporates at rather low temperatures, thus it's all too common use in lighting fires. So unless it's quite cold out it is still not save to allow it exposure to the atmosphere.

Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...

And I thought you had gone to Honduras to remind us British Columbians we do not have a monopoly on odd behaviour.

Anonymous said...

The plot thickens.
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/story/2012/08/20/bc-garbage-bag-gasoline.html?cmp=rss

Anonymous said...

Gee, a new High School science experiment, throw a match into a plastic bag of gas and see if it burns?

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