AN ARMY supply store sold more than 200 Jerry Cans in just two days as petrol panic caused chaos in the Ripley and Heanor area.
Filling stations were returning to normal this week after a rush to the pumps saw many run out of fuel as threats of a tanker drivers’ strike loomed.
General manager of Ripley’s Anchor Supplies Dawn Lear, said the Peasehill store had to order in 500 more Jerry Cans to cope with the demand as shoppers looked to stockpile petrol in the event of a fuel shortage.
She said: “We just went mad.”
“In the last week alone we have sold around half the amount we normally would throughout the whole year.”
The News spoke to petrol station attendants on Friday - before the strike was averted - who described scenes of panic buying not seen since the lorry drivers and farmers’ protests in 2000.
Motorists endured waits of up to an hour on Friday as they queued for fuel at Sainsbury’s in Ripley.
Julie Falat, at Quadamill Petrol Ltd in Lower Kilburn, said: “I’ve never seen anything like it. It’s been absolutely manic! Even when we had the last strike I never saw anything like this! They have been queuing up the road. We have neighbours complaining because they can’t get into their own homes.”
Pat Williams, at the Riverside Service Station on Derby Road, Ambergate, said: “It’s been chaos the last three or four days. I have never seen it so busy. I think David Cameron’s comments are disgusting. At the moment we have got fuel and we are hoping they will come today to refill. We are in the queue.”
In the week that saw a woman injured with second degree burns whilst transferring fuel in her own home, Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service issued a warning to the public about the dangers associated with storing petrol in or close to homes.
Mark Leatherland, petroleum officer for the fire service said: “It is important that people follow the advice being given by the fire service and where possible petrol should not be stored, or where necessary, kept to a minimum. Householders should also consider that by storing excessive amounts of petrol, you may run the risk of invalidating your house insurance policy”.
The Unite union, which represents 2,062 tanker drivers, is in dispute with seven fuel companies over safety standards and working terms and conditions. A strike over the Easter bank holiday has been ruled out though.